Death toll of Iraq blasts at 57 as four Australian troops wounded
At least 57 people were killed in a bomb and missile attack on a busy Baghdad neighbourhood Sunday night, officials said. As rescuers dragged more bloodied corpses from rubble left in the Al-Qubyasi market by Sunday night's blasts, more car bombs killed three people in downtown Baghdad and a missile crashed into the fortified "Green Zone".
According to AFP, iRAQI Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accused Sunni extremists of seeking to ignite civil war by attacking the largely Shiite district of Zafaraniyah, where a combination of suicide car bombs and missiles demolished two buildings. "We strongly condemn the series of terrorist attacks which were carried out by takfiri (hardline Sunni) terrorists on Sunday, which killed dozens of people," the Shiite premier said, in a statement released by his office.
"The terrorists planned this ugly crime to kill as many innocent victims as possible and this is evidence of their hatred for Iraq and their attempt to incite division and sectarian fighting among Iraqi people," he warned.
An interior ministry official put the toll at 57 dead and more than 150 wounded, but said this was expected to rise further. "There's children, women. Whole families were killed," the official told AFP.
The attack marked the worst single loss of life since July 1, when a truck bomb killed 66.
Meanwhile, police and witnesses said that three more bombs had gone off in downtown Baghdad Monday, killing three more civilians. Police at the scene of one of the blasts told AFP that the bomb had not fully detonated.
Elsewhere, four Australian troops were injured nded Monday in a rocket attack on the fortified "Green Zone", the seat of Maliki's government, home to the US and British embassies and an important coalition military base.