Monday, February 12, 2007

Just another day...

Good thing we're there. Otherwise, the place might descend into chaos.

Bombs strike Baghdad markets, kill at least 71
Bombings come as Shiites mark anniversary of mosque attack in Samarra

Thunderous explosions and dense smoke swirled through central Baghdad on Monday when three car bombs ripped apart a crowded marketplace in a Shiite neighborhood, setting off secondary explosions and killing at least 71 people, police said. A suicide bombing nearby killed at least nine.

The blasts shattered the city center on the first anniversary, according to the Muslim lunar calendar, of the bombing last year of the important Shiite Golden Dome shrine in Samarra, north of the capital. That attack by al-Qaida in Iraq set off the sectarian bloodletting that has turned Baghdad and much of central Iraq into a battleground.

Shops and stalls were obliterated and smoke blackened the area, obscuring what had been a sunny day as it rose hundreds of feet into the air above the market near the east bank of the Tigris River.

Ambulances and pickup trucks rushed many of the nearly 165 wounded to nearby al-Kindi hospital in the largely Shiite neighborhood, which has been hit by a series of deadly bombings this year. The sectarian killings have continued despite a new U.S. and Iraqi operation aimed at stopping the violence set off by the Feb. 22 bombing of the Samarra mosque.

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