Connect to share and comment

Deadly Baghdad cafe bombing seen as revenge for Osama bin Laden

Al Qaeda is suspected in a car bomb attack in Baghdad that killed at least 16 people when it struck a cafe packed with young men watching a football match.

Iraq 2011 5 3Enlarge
Iraqi men read newspapers displaying front page pictures and headlines that read in Arabic "The end of the butcher" and "The murderer is killed" in Baghdad on May 3, 2011 a day after Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid at his compound in Pakistan. (Ali Al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images)

Al Qaeda is suspected in a deadly car bomb attack on Baghdad cafe packed with young men watching a football match.

It was the first major attack since the terror network's operatives vowed revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan Sunday by U.S. Navy SEALs, and killed at least 16 people, the Associated Press reports.

No one had yet claimed responsibility for the attack in a Shia enclave in the former insurgent stronghold of Dora, an area in southwestern Baghdad that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Iraq conflict.

Separately, it was reported Tuesday that the U.S. special operation that killed bin Laden was planned by a veteran of anti-terror operations who had earlier commanded the team that helped capture former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein from his secret cellar in Tikrit, northern Iraq.

V-Adm. William H. McRaven — now commander of Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command — has been identified as a foremost U.S. expert on covert operations and counterterrorism strategy, the Times of India reports.

Since bin Laden's killing in a raid in Pakistan that was months in the planning, security services in Iraq and elsewhere have been on heightened alert for fear of reprisal attacks, the BBC reports.

Most of the dead and wounded were young people watching a football match, police and hospital officials told the AP.

A vendor selling food near the cafe also was among the 16 killed. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information, said 37 people also were wounded.

The U.S. is preparing to withdraw all its troops from Iraq by the end of the year.