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Over fifty killed in Baghdad attacks

by amyjudd | March 6, 2008 at 03:24 pm | 156 views | 1 comment
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Two bombs have exploded in the Karada shopping area in Baghdad, and at least 54 people have been killed. The first was a roadside bomb near the centre and the second was placed in a rubbish bin. They exploded within minutes of each other. Most of the casualities were teenagers and young people who were out shopping in the capital at the time.


The twin attack, comprising a roadside bombing followed by a suicide attack, ripped through Al-Atar Street in central Baghdad’s Karada neighbourhood, one official told AFP.

“First a roadside bomb went off and as people and police gathered to rescue the victims, a suicide bomber blew himself up amid the crowd,” he said.

Another security official said those killed and wounded included several women and children. Iraqi emergency personnel evacuated the wounded to nearby hospitals.

The US military said the attack took place at around 7:00 pm (1600 GMT).



The blasts left another 130 people injured, the officials said.

A witness at the scene described people holding body parts and a woman crying as rescuers searched for her sons.

The BBC’s Hugh Sykes in Baghdad said the second bomb targeted crowds gathered at the site of the first, causing the high death toll.

He says there are no obvious military targets in the area and local residents were out shopping ahead of the Iraqi weekend in fine spring weather when the bombs exploded.


A roadside bomb exploded first in the predominantly Shia neighbourhood, police said.

The second a few minutes later was caused by either a suicide bomber or a device placed in a rubbish bin.

Karada shopping district (file pic 2007)
Karada is a popular shopping area in central Baghdad

Many of the victims were teenagers and young adults.

Hassan Abdullah, 25, told AP he was standing near the clothing shop he owns when the first explosion went off about 150 metres away.

He was walking towards the scene when the second explosion struck.

“I saw a leg and a hand falling near me as I was walking. The whole place was a mess,” he said.

“Wounded people were crying for help and people started to run away.”

Our correspondent says attacks like this used to occur almost daily but have become much less common in recent months.

However, Iraqi government figures this week showed that the number of Iraqi civilians killed in February was a third higher than in January.

The figures reversed the six-month-long trend of falling death tolls attributed to a surge in US troop numbers, the formation of anti-al-Qaeda militias by Sunni Arab tribes and a freeze in activities of the Mehdi Army militia loyal to radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.

March 6, 2008 at 03:24 pm by amyjudd, 156 views, 1 comment

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