Middle East News
Dozens killed in Baghdad and Karbala car bombings (3rd Lead)
Apr 14, 2007, 10:55 GMT
Destroyed cars at the site of car bomb explosion at a busy market in Karbala, 100km south of Baghdad, 14 April 2007. Violence raged across Iraq Saturday with some 75 people killed and more than 100 wounded in two car bomb attacks in Baghdad and Karbala, a holy city dominated by Shiites, where more than 40 were killed and 60 wounded when a car bomb exploded in the centre of the city, police sources said. EPA/ALAA AL-SHEMAREE
Baghdad - Violence raged across Iraq Saturday with dozens killed and more than 200 wounded in two car bomb attacks in Baghdad and Karbala.
In Karbala, the second holiest city for Shiites in Iraq some 100 kilometres south of Baghdad, at least 34 people were killed and some 156 injured when a car bomb exploded in the centre of the city, Iraq's health ministry said.
The al-Jazeera satellite channel, quoting police sources, put the death toll at 56 and said some 50 were wounded.
The attack was several hundred metres away from the shrine of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed and a revered icon among Shiite Muslims. His shrine is considered sacred and is a pilgrimage site.
Witnesses said the blast occurred in an overcrowded area of the city, opposite a a parking lot for mini-buses and commercial trucks which supply goods to a nearby outdoor market area.
In addition to a number of children and women who worked as street vendors in the market area, the dead included Iranian pilgrims visiting the Imam Hussein shrine.
In Jadiriya, southern Baghdad, witnesses and police sources said at least 35 people were killed and around 50 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car on a major bridge over the Tigris River packed with traffic.
Interior ministry officials would confirm only 11 dead and about 15 wounded. Witnesses, however, said they saw many more bodies in burnt-out cars on the bridge and in the river.
The Jadiriya blast is the second attack on a bridge over the Tigris in three days. On Thursday, a key bridge in northern Baghdad was struck by a truck bomb, killing at least 10 people and injuring more than 25.
That attack came shortly before a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt penetrated Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone and blew himself up in the cafeteria of the parliament building in the heart of the compound, killing one lawmaker and injuring nearly a dozen people.
In Basra, British military sources said their forces killed eight militants Saturday while planting explosives, al-Jazeera reported.
US-led coalition forces meanwhile detained 17 suspected insurgents during operations in Baghdad and Mosul, about 400 kilometres north of the capital, the US military announced.
Among them was the suspected al-Qaeda emir (leader) of Rusafa area in Baghdad and a former vehicle-borne explosive device cell leader.
Also in Baghdad Saturday, gunmen again opened fire at the house of Adnan al-Dulaimi while he was not at home. Al-Dulaimi is the head of the largest Sunni faction in the Iraqi parliament, the Iraqi Accordance Front which has 44 mandates in the 275-seat house.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur