Car bomb kills at least 16 people in Baghdad
Many others were hurt as a car bomb went off in Baghdad's Mutanabi district.Updated:
A car bomb exploded on Monday in the area of Mutanabi Street, a Baghdad district lined with book shops, killing at least 16 people and wounding many more, an agency witness and police said.
"There are many shops set on fire and more than 15 cars were burned out," said the witness, who works for Reuters, saying he helped several injured women into a police car that took seven casualties away to hospital.
"They were covered with blood."
A police source said 16 people were killed and 34 wounded.
The source said a second bomb exploded in Bab al Muadham Street, very close to Mutanabi street, around the same time, and it was not immediately clear how many casualties there were from that explosion.
"I'm up on the roof now, there's black smoke everywhere," the witness on Mutanabi Street told the agency by telephone, adding that ambulance sirens were sounding and the street below was in chaos, with pools of blood on the ground.
"There was so much smoke that I was vomiting," said the witness, who was in a book shop on the street when the windows were blown out by the blast.
Iraqi and US forces are in the third week of a major security crackdown in Baghdad aimed at stemming sectarian violence.
A big increase in the number of troops on the streets and checkpoints appears to have reduced death squad killings but US commander say car bombs remain a problem.
First Published: Mar 05, 2007 15:54 IST