A car bomb ripped through Baghdad's booksellers' district on Monday, killing at least 26 people and setting shops and cars ablaze on the street.
According to Reuters, a police source said the explosion on Mutanabi Street killed 26 people and injured 54. "There are many shops set on fire and more than 15 cars were burned out," said a Reuters witness.
The police source said a second bomb went off in Bab al Muadham Street, close to Mutanabi street, around the same time.
In other violence, gunmen opened fire on Shiite pilgrims in two separate incidents around Baghdad on Monday, killing five people, police said.On Sunday, American and Iraqi forces poured into Baghdad's main Shiite stronghold, encountering no resistance. The quiet advance in Sadr City - involving nearly 1,200 U.S. and Iraqi forces - marked one of the most significant developments in the security clampdown in Baghdad since it took effect nearly three weeks ago, the AP reoprted.