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US “Uber-Embassy” in Baghdad reeks like sewage

It is the world’s most expensive embassy, costing more than $700 million (£427 million) and designed to withstand earthquakes and insurgents. Yet only nine months after being opened, the US Embassy in Iraq is riddled with problems expected to cost more than $130 million to fix.

Nobody praised its architecture when it was inaugurated in January — think Milton Keynes on the Moon. The cube-like structure, topped with razor wire, is the size of Vatican City and features a supermarket and swimming pool. But the 2,000 or so Americans moving in believed, at least, that it would keep them safe and comfortable.

Not so. A report by a US Government inspector-general yesterday pointed to staggering State Department incompetence. The structure, measuring more than 100 acres, and supposedly self- sufficient, is facing an enormous repair bill. Plumbing mistakes, for example, mean that the deputy ambassador has sewage-scented air blown into his residence.

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