Market bombing kills 13 and wounds 100 in Iraq


BAGHDAD – At least 13 people were killed and more than 100 wounded yesterday when two roadside bombs exploded in quick succession in a crowded Baghdad market in the latest attack targeting Shia Muslims.

A wave of bombings this month against mainly Shia pilgrims and shrines has killed more than 130 people and fuelled fears that Iraq could slip back into sectarian bloodletting of the kind that has receded since its peak in 2006-2007.

Tensions have been running high since US troops left in December as Shia, Sunni and Kurdish political factions vie for power.

The first explosion struck Husseiniya, a market in a mainly Shia area on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital, where people were shopping for groceries and other goods, sources said.

The second blast followed soon afterwards as security forces and civilians gathered to tend to the casualties from the first.

In the northern city of Samarra, home to an important Shia shrine, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives near the entrance of the city, killing one person and wounding 10 others, including seven Iranian pilgrims and three members of the security forces, a local source said.

Iraq’s main political factions have been locked in a crisis since December, with opponents of prime minister Nouri al-Maliki accusing him of trying to consolidate power at their expense and threatening a vote of no confidence against him. – (Reuters)