Bomb strikes Shiite market in Baghdad, killing 69
A bomb ripped through a crowded market in Baghdad's main Shiite district, killing at least 69 people and wounding more than 100 less than a week before a deadline for US combat troops to leave Iraq's urban areas.world Updated: Jun 25, 2009 13:59 IST
A bomb ripped through a crowded market in Baghdad's main Shiite district, killing at least 69 people and wounding more than 100 less than a week before a deadline for US combat troops to leave Iraq's urban areas.
A series of blasts have killed more than 160 people, as US and Iraqi officials warned they expected more violence before the US withdrawal from cities.
American troops already have begun pulling back from the joint bases that they occupied with Iraqi security forces as part of a counterinsurgency strategy aimed at clearing volatile areas and holding them.
The recent spike in violence has raised new concern about the ability of Iraqi forces to protect the people, but a US military spokesman insisted that American combat troops would be out of the cities by Tuesday as required by a security pact.
In the past, bombings in Shiite areas would be followed by mortar attacks against Sunni strongholds or execution-style killings that were the signature of Shiite militias.
The bomb, which was hidden under vegetables on a motorized pushcart, exploded about 7 pm on Wednesday, apparently timed to maximize casualties by striking shoppers buying food for their evening meal at the Mradi market.
Shrapnel was blown more than 600 yards away and some shops were set on fire, a police officer said.
An Interior Ministry official said 69 people were killed and 135 wounded.
First Published: Jun 25, 2009 07:52 IST