Two bombs on Friday tore through a market full of shoppers in Baghdad, killing 14 people and wounding more than 100, the latest attack in Iraq's deadliest month since US troops withdrew at the end of last year, authorities said.
The explosions, timed within minutes of each other, came at midmorning in the open-air market in the mostly Shiite Muslim neighbourhood of Husseiniyah in the northeast part of Baghdad.
The bloodshed highlights the struggle the Iraqi leadership and security forces face in defeating al Qaeda-linked insurgents hoping to destabilise the government and stoke tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities. The government itself is deadlocked over sectarian-tinged political conflicts.
Mohammed Hussein al-Jizani said he was haggling with customers in his shoe store in the open-air market, where stalls line the streets, when he heard a loud blast and ran outside.
"Three minutes later, there was a second explosion as people and policemen were rushing to the site of the first bomb," al-Jizani said. "The evil insurgents chose the best time to attack, because the market is usually busy on Fridays with young people gathering to sell and buy birds." There is a pet market nearby.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The blasts killed at least 14 people and wounded 106, a medical official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to release the information.