Holiday Bombings Kill 27 in Baghdad
The bombings reinforced fears among a growing number of residents that the security situation in Baghdad was deteriorating, even though over all it remained at the most stable level since the American-led invasion in 2003, according to data measured by the United States military command.
The worst of the bombings, in a bustling market of the central Karada district, seemed intended to inflict casualties on people preparing to celebrate a major holiday at the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.
First, a car bomb blew up in a parking lot on Attar Street. Then as crowds gathered, a second bomb exploded, in what seemed to be an effort to kill or maim bystanders, several witnesses said.
Brig. Gen. Qassim Atta, an Iraqi military spokesman, said the attacks involved a car bomb and a roadside homemade bomb. He put the toll at 13 dead and 46 wounded.
An official at the Interior Ministry, who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, gave a toll of at least 19 killed and 72 wounded.
Police officers at the scene provided a toll of at least 18 killed and 41 wounded. Conflicting tolls are common in the confusion that follows attacks in Iraq.
Ayman Saadi, a resident, said he ran away when the first bomb went off, expecting a second detonation. “We have become accustomed to these traps,” he said.
Nearby, a Karada resident who identified himself as Abbas Jarousha stood in disbelief as he received a call on his cellphone from a stranger who said that he had found Mr. Jarousha’s brother’s phone and that the brother was dead.
The blasts in Karada occurred about 7 p.m. as many people poured onto the streets after the breaking of the daytime fast observed by most Iraqis during Ramadan, which ends Monday. Ramadan is followed by Id al-Fitr, a five-day holiday during which families customarily go out strolling, and children receive gifts and parade in new clothes.
Many people were out shopping on Sunday in Karada, where vendors were selling shoes, clothes, watches and perfume. Attar Street is also home to Jabbar Abu al-Sharbat, a cafe renowned for its pomegranate and raisin juice.
Baghdad was jarred by another explosion shortly before sundown in Shurta, a neighborhood on the city’s southwestern side. A bomb placed in a parked vehicle at a market there killed 12 and wounded 35, according to the Interior Ministry official.
Mizher Abed Hanoush, a Shurta resident, said the attack took place near a Shiite house of worship, or husseiniya, now occupied by the Iraqi Army.
Mr. Hanoush said the husseiniya previously had served as the local base of the Mahdi Army militia of Moktada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric. It was taken over by the army in the aftermath of battles this year between Iraqi and American forces and the militia in Baghdad and the south.
Mr. Hanoush echoed concerns voiced by many Iraqis in recent weeks about the fragility of the security situation in Baghdad. “The situation is turning to the worse again, I do not know why,” he said.
Earlier, an Iraqi soldier was killed and three others were wounded when their patrol hit a roadside bomb in Mansour, a neighborhood in western Baghdad. Also, a bomb inside a vehicle exploded on a main road in the Amil neighborhood, killing the driver, the Interior Ministry official said.
Atheer Kakan contributed reporting.
Source : The New York Times
This entry was posted on September 29, 2008 at 10:57 pm and is filed under Iraq with tags baghdad, bomb, bombing, Iraq. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.