Twin car bombs kill 75 in Baghdad market
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two simultaneous car bombs killed 75 people in a busy market in central Baghdad on Monday in fresh violence that came as Iraqis awaited the start of a U.S.-backed offensive in the capital.
Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki angrily blamed the car bombs on followers of Saddam Hussein, whose botched execution last month angered many among his fellow minority Sunni Arabs.
The midday blasts, less than a second apart, also maimed scores at a second-hand goods market in Bab al-Sharji, a busy commercial area that is home to both Sunni Arab and Shi'ite shopowners and traders.
BAGHDAD, Jan. 22 — A pair of bombs killed at least 75 people in a crowded marketplace here this afternoon, capping a weekend in which at least 27 American service members died, including five killed by gunmen who had disguised themselves as American soldiers to make their way through a series of checkpoints.
The attacks are seen as highlighting the challenges faced by US forces as they prepare to try to rein in the Sunni and Shia fighters who have been carrying out deadly tit-for-tat attacks.
Previous attempts to stop the killings in the capital have failed, in part, analysts say, because coalition and Iraqi troops have not stayed in an area once insurgents have been cleared.
Under the new plans, once an area is taken, the extra US troops will stay behind, backing up Iraqi forces to hold the area.