Four World Bank local employees and a consultant are unaccounted for, said a spokesman from the organisation. They said it is unclear whether the employees were in the office within the UN complex because most of the World Bank staff were in a separate part of Baghdad.

Several other staff were injured, said officials. The World Bank had an office in the UN Baghdad headquarters. It had 15 employees in Iraq, including five normally based in Washington, nine local and an international employee in charge of security.

World Bank President James Wolfensohn expressed his shock at the attack but said the body would remain in Iraq.

“We will continue to strive to do everything possible to support reconstruction and development in Iraq,” he said in a statement.

In a separate statement, the IMF said five of its employees and a consultant at the scene were also injured.

Four staff members have been treated while contact has yet to be established with the fifth employee, said IMF officials.