Iraq: At least 32 dead in blast, US report says number of attacks steady
A parked car bomb went off near a market in a Shiite enclave northeast of Baghdad, killing at least 32 people and injuring 50, police said Wednesday. Hospital officials and wounded victims said chlorine gas may have been used in the attack, but police denied that.
The car bomb attack occurred about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in the village of Abu Saydah in the Diyala province, local police said. According to the AP, the wounded were taken to hospitals in nearby Muqdadiyah and the main Shiite district of Sadr City in Baghdad.
Hospital officials and victims said it appeared chlorine gas was used in the attack as many of the wounded were having difficulty breathing and had their sight affected. But officials at the provincial police's joint coordination center denied that toxic gas was involved.
A hospital official said the facility had received three bodies and 11 of those wounded who all showed symptoms of chlorine poisoning.
Meanwhile, a U.S. government report released Tuesday showed that the recent U.S. troop increase and security crackdown has had little effect on the high number of attacks in the country. The average number of attacks increased from 71 a day in January 2006 to a high of 176 per day in October, according to the report from the Government Accountability Office. In February, when the troop increase started to take effect, daily attacks fell lightly to 164. Daily attacks averaged 157 in March and 149 in April, the report said.