Thu, Aug 31, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Spate of violence claims at least 52 lives around Iraq


A roadside bomb blast yesterday at Baghdad's largest and oldest wholesale market district killed at least 24 people and injured 35, adding to the violence in Iraq that claimed 52 people, police said.

In a separate incident in Baghdad, a senior official with the justice ministry, Nadiya Mohammed Hassan, was shot and killed in a drive-by-shooting, according to First Lieutenant Maitham Abdul-Razaq of the police. Her bodyguard and driver also died in the shooting that occurred in the western part of the city.

The market blast occurred at 9:50am at the Shurja commercial center, Police Lieutenant Mohammed Khayoun said.

Earlier, an explosives-rigged bicycle detonated near an army recruiting center in a city south of Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 12 people and wounding 38, police said.

In downtown Baghdad, three police officers were killed and 14 people were injured when twin bombs -- including one planted in a car -- struck a police patrol as it drove by a line of vehicles waiting in a line for gasoline at a filling station.

Also in Baghdad, three carpet merchants who were driving in a taxi on their way to work were shot and killed in west Baghdad, Abdul-Razaq said.

In Buhriz, a former Saddam stronghold about 60km north of Baghdad, a roadside bomb struck a car carrying a family of five, killing everyone inside and wounding two people who were walking nearby, according to Diyala Province police.

In the outskirts of Kut, about 160km southeast of Baghdad, an Iraqi army major was killed when his car rolled over a roadside bomb, according to an official from the Kut morgue.

The morgue also received five corpses who had been brought from the town of Suwayra, 40km south of Baghdad; a Kut morgue official said the bodies were brought in blindfolded, their hands and legs had been bound, and their bodies were riddled with bullets.

A civilian driving in his car in Mosul, 360km northwest of Baghdad, was apparently shot and killed by US troops who opened fire when the man's vehicle came too close to them, Iraqi Police Brigadier Saed Ahmed al-Jubouri said.

In a separate incident in Mosul, four civilians were wounded after being caught in the middle of a gunfight between Iraqi police and a group of gunmen.

In central Hillah, about 95km south of Baghdad, a man posing as a potential army recruit planted the explosives-rigged bicycle early in the morning outside the recruiting center, Police Lieutenant Osama Ahmed said.

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