Middle East News
Over 20 killed, scores wounded in violence across Iraq (Roundup)
Apr 8, 2007, 13:43 GMT
Baghdad - Over 20 Iraqis were killed and scores were wounded as car bomb attacks continued to rip through districts in and around Baghdad on Sunday.
In one incident, at least 17 people were killed and 26 were wounded when an explosives-laden car was detonated south of Baghdad, according to a local police source.
The roadside car bomb, which was triggered by remote control, rocked an industrial area in the town of Mahmoudiyah, around 30 kilometres south of the capital.
The wounded were quickly moved to a nearby hospital, and the death toll was expected to rise.
In another development, at least five people were killed and 20 wounded when a car bomb exploded in a southern Baghdad district, the local al-Iraqiya news channel reported.
The explosion reportedly ripped through al-Ilam street Sunday afternoon, and according to the local channel, ambulances and paramedics had rushed to the scene. The wounded were moved to the nearby Yarmouk hospital.
US-led coalition forces said in a statement issued Sunday that four American soldiers were killed a day earlier in an explosion near their vehicle in the southern Diyala province.
Another soldier was wounded in the same attack and was taken to a coalition forces medical treatment facility.
Meanwhile, a Sadrist parliament member said on Sunday that his faction will mark the anniversary of the 'fall of Baghdad' due April 9 with 'a march of millions' in protest at the US presence in Iraq.
According to the deputy Salih al-Ekeily, the anti-American Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr - who heads the feared militant group- is currently present in Iraq adding that the planned march will take place 'based on his demand.'
Reports had circulated earlier claiming that al-Sadr left Iraq in February, but these reports were strongly denied by the leader's cohorts.
The planned march comes on the 4th anniversary of the fall of ex- dictator Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, where the former president was ousted and was later captured by US-led forces who had siezed Baghdad and took control of the major palaces and ministries on April 9.
The United States army and marine forces invaded Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction after the Iraqi government allegedly hampered a search by UN inspectors.
Then, the US State Department had said that intelligince sources had confirmed the presence of these weapons across Baghdad, securing proof of Saddam's support for terrorism.
Shortly afterwards, a wave a violence started to plague Iraqi cities where Shiites and Sunnis -locked in a power struggle- engaged in sectarian infighting.
In addition, fierce attacks targeting both foreign and local police and army forces surged across the war-ravaged nation.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur