Tuesday, May 22, 2007


25 killed as car bomb explodes in Baghdad market

(AP) - A parked car bomb ripped through a crowded outdoor market in southwestern Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 25 people despite a 3-month-old security crackdown meant to reduce violence in the capital. At least 60 people were wounded in the 10 a.m. blast in the Shiite-dominated neighborhood of Amil. Nearby buildings were badly damaged and set ablaze, while others were reduced to rubble.
The neighborhood has seen an increase in violence in recent weeks, and Sunni politicians expressed fears that Shiite militiamen had resumed their campaign of sectarian cleansing in Amil and nearby neighborhoods of southwestern Baghdad. The blast came amid the U.S. and Iraqi security operation meant to flush out insurgents and restore order to Baghdad. However deadly attacks targeting civilians and police have continued.
U.S. military officials say that insurgent groups, feeling the pressure from the crackdown, have hit back by stepping up their car bombing attacks with their devastating death tolls. A May 6 bombing in a market in the neighboring Baiyaa district, killed 30 people and wounded 80 others.
A few minutes before the bombing in Amil, which adjoins the neighborhood where the May 6 blast occurred, gunmen in two cars drove through the nearby Khadra neighborhood and ambushed a civilian car carrying three plainclothes police officers from the major crimes unit, killing two and wounding the third, police said.
Police and other Iraqi security officers have been heavily targeted by insurgents, who accuse them of collaborating with U.S.-led forces in the country.

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