BAGHDAD, Iraq — An Iranian missile slammed into the edge of a crowded schoolyard in the Iraqi capital today. State radio said 29 children perished and 196 of their schoolmates were wounded.
The state radio said the surface-to-surface missile also killed two women and a man. In all, it said 218 people were wounded and admitted to hospitals.
The 7:55 a.m. blast shook the foundations of the Baghdad elementary school building and within seconds it collapsed, sending a huge cloud of dust into the air, witnesses said. It was not clear how many people were in the building at the time.
The Baghdad Radio announcement said the school and 16 other buildings in the area were demolished.
The explosion started a fire and sent shrapnel, glass shards and concrete chunks flying into the playground, witnesses said.
Iran has fired missiles at Baghdad several times since the nations went to war in 1980.
Iran's official news agency said today that an infantry unit of the Revolutionary Guards Corps fired the missile into Baghdad in retaliation for an Iraqi air raid Monday that damaged a school in the western Iranian province of Lorestan.