Iraq: More than 50 dead in bombing attack
A suicide car bomber detonated explosives in a crowd of laborers gathered across the street from a major Shiite shrine in southern Iraq Tuesday, killing at least 53 people and injuring 105, officials and witnesses said.
There were conflicting casualty figures in the market attack, with a Shiite television station reporting more than 70 dead. But local police and Dr. Dawoud al-Taie, director of Mahmoudiya hospital, said 50 people were killed and about 90 were wounded.
According to the AP, the bomber drove a minivan to where Shiite laborers gather daily to look for work in Kufa, 100 miles south of Baghdad. He offered them jobs, loaded the minivan with volunteers and then detonated the vehicle, Najaf Gov. Asaad Abu Kalal told a Shiite television station.
The attacks occurred about 7:30 a.m. across the street from Kufa's gold-domed mosque, police Capt. Nafie Mohammed said. Senior provincial health official Dr. Muthir al-Ithari said the casualty figure had been consolidated from reports sent by hospitals in Kufa and nearby Najaf.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, condemned the attack and promised to track down and punish those who planned it.
The blast occurred one day after gunmen killed at least 50 people in a major assault on a market in Mahmoudiya, 75 miles north of Kufa.
Late Monday, police said they found 12 bodies in different parts of town - possible victims of reprisal killings.
Meanwhile, the U.S. command announced that three American soldiers were killed in separate attacks Monday - two in the Baghdad area and one in Anbar province west of the capital.