Middle East News
Car bomb kills at least seven, wounds 20, in Iraqi market (1st Lead)
Aug 2, 2009, 12:16 GMT
Baghdad - At least seven people were killed and 20 wounded Sunday when a powerful car bomb exploded in a crowded market in the western Iraqi province of al-Anbar, medical staff said.
The bombing targeted a market in the predominantly Sunni town of al-Haditha, roughly 250 kilometres north-east of Baghdad.
Four of the wounded were in critical condition, Walid al-Obeidi, manager of the al-Haditha General Hospital, told the German Press Agency dpa.
The blast ripped the facades off nearby houses and shops, police in al-Haditha said, adding that they had imposed a vehicle ban in the area in an effort to prevent further attacks.
The attack was followed by a bomb blast at a sheep market in Hilla, some 100 kilometres south of Baghdad. At least 10 people were injured in that attack, witnesses told dpa, adding that 'a large number' of sheep had been killed in the blast.
Earlier Sunday a bomb exploded at the Hilla offices of former speaker of the parliament Mahmoud al-Mashhadani's Islah Party, one of Iraq's leading Sunni parties.
The party had opened its regional office only recently, and the blast, which happened before dawn, injured no one.
The attack on the party's offices followed Saturday's bombing near a Sunni mosque in Hilla that wounded two worshippers at dawn prayers. One of the wounded was a member of a Sunni, government-allied Sahwa, or 'Awakening' militia.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for Saturday's and Sunday's attacks against Sunni targets.
On Friday, five consecutive bombings targeted Shiite mosques in Baghdad, most of them connected to the movement of firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
At least 30 people were killed in those attacks and at least 100 others wounded, police said.