Five killed in blasts at Iraq market
Five people have died after two bomb blasts at a market in the Iraqi city of Diwaniya (A on map). Image: Google Maps.
Two blasts at a busy cattle market in a mainly Shia city in southern Iraq killed at least five people and injured dozens more, police and medics said today.
No one claimed responsibility for the attacks immediately, but Sunni Muslim insurgents have been redoubling their efforts to undermine the Shia-led government and spark deeper intercommunal fighting since the start of the year.
Shia prime minister Nuri al-Maliki's power-sharing government has been all but paralysed since US troops withdrew in December 2011.
The remains of cows and calves were lying on the ground, covered in blood and dirt after the two car bombs were detonated simultaneously at the market in Diwaniya, 150km south of the capital, Baghdad.
"I came to buy some calves and was checking them when the explosion happened, I threw myself on the ground, then the second explosion happened," Jassim Khalid, a butcher at the scene told Reuters.
Today's blasts followed a series of explosions targeting Shia neighbourhoods of Baghdad late yesterday in which at least 22 people were killed.
Iraq is calmer than during the communal bloodletting of 2006-2007, but there are concerns the war in neighbouring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are fighting to oust president Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Shia Iran, is pushing Iraq back towards sectarian strife.