Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Bombs kill 42, wound 250 in Iraq

AFP , KHAZNAH, IRAQ

People gather at the site where a double truck bombing tore through Khaznah village near Mosul, Iraq, yesterday.

PHOTO: AP

Two truck bombs targeting a tiny sect in a village in northern Iraq and a spate of bloody bombings in Baghdad killed at least 42 people yesterday and wounded nearly 250, police said.

In the deadliest single attack, two booby-trapped trucks exploded before dawn in the village of Khaznah, east of the restive northern Iraqi city of Mosul, leaving 28 people dead and 155 wounded.

The massive blasts leveled 35 houses and gouged deep craters into the ground of the prosperous village of 3,000, home to members of the small Shabak community, a sect of Kurdish origin.

Falah Ridha, a 23-year-old nurse wounded in the attack, said he was the only survivor of 12 people in his family home.

“Eleven people in my family were killed when their house collapsed. All of them woke up after the first bomb, but the second bomb was very close to my house, it was like an earthquake,” he said. “No one else escaped, just me.”

Mohammed Kadhem, 37, said: “I was sleeping on the roof and I woke up as if there was an earthquake. After that I saw a plume of smoke and dust spreading everywhere.”

“A minute later another bomb went off, knocking me off the roof onto the ground,” he said.

Another resident, Assaad Salem, said: “I had just finished my prayers and was trying to sleep when the first bomb went off ... Then the other bomb went off and I thought this is doomsday, this is the end of all life.”

Mosul has been the frequent target of attacks despite a marked decline in violence elsewhere in the country, and US commanders describe it as the last urban bastion of al-Qaeda loyalists in Iraq.

The country’s second city with a population of about 1.6 million, Mosul is mainly Sunni — both Arab and Kurdish — but it also has significant Christian and Shiite Turkmen minorities.

In Baghdad, two bombs went off as day workers gathered in the morning to look for jobs.

The first bomb, hidden inside a bag of cement, exploded at Hay al-Amel in the west of the capital, killing seven people and injuring 46.

The second attack, a car bomb in Shurta Arbaa in the north of the city, killed nine people and wounded 36 others.

A third bombing at a market in the southern suburb of Saidiyah killed three people and wounded 14.

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