At least 88 killed in Baghdad market blasts
Two parked car bombs and a bomb hidden in a plastic bag struck market districts in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 79 people and wounding over 140, police said.
According to the AP, the violence started about 11:50 a.m. when the parcel bomb went off in a crowded area near a popular takeaway falafel restaurant in the Bab al-Sharqi area, police said. At least nine people were killed and 21 were wounded.
About 30 minutes later, two cars packed with explosives blew up in quick succession near the Shorja market district, collapsing a building and setting stores on fire. At least 79 people were killed and 148 were injured in the two blasts, which occurred within yards of each other.
A massive cloud of dust rose into the sky above the Shorja Market, the main commercial centre of the Iraqi capital. Fifteen minutes later a third blast went off nearby.
The bomb detonated precisely at the end of a 15-minute pause in work ordered by the Iraqi government to mark the first anniversary of a bomb attack on a revered Shiite shrine, which triggered a wave of sectarian violence.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Shiite clerics had urged Iraqis to stop what they were doing at midday (0900 GMT) to remember the attack on the Samarra shrine.