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At least 28 killed in Baghdad market bombings

Text by AFP , Sarah DRURY

Latest update : 2008-11-11

A triple bomb attack in the Iraqi capital left at least 28 dead and scores wounded on Monday.Two car bomb exploded in the mainly Sunni district of Adhamiyah, before a suicide bomber blew himself up in the resulting melee.

BAGHDAD, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Two car bombs exploded in
central Baghdad on Monday and a suicide bomber blew himself up
among police and civilians who rushed to help the wounded, a
triple strike that killed 28 people and wounded 68.

In another attack, in Baquba, capital of volatile northern
Diyala province, a female suicide bomber killed five U.S.-backed
security patrolmen and wounded 11 other people, the U.S.
military said.

Police said the bomber was a girl of 13.

The triple attack in Baghdad, one of the deadliest incidents
in Iraq for months, took place in the Kasra neighbourhood on the
east bank of the Tigris River in a bustling area of tea shops
and restaurants near a fine arts institute.

Male and female students, many of whom were having breakfast
at the time of the strike, were among the dead and wounded, as
were Iraqi soldiers and police who had rushed to the scene.

A Reuters television crew filmed scenes of devastation, with
street-front restaurants filled with rubble and cars reduced to
twisted steel.

Jassim Mohammed, a bystander, said he saw one of the car
bomb blasts strike outside a restaurant.

"Innocent and simple people were gathering to have breakfast
or shop in the nearby area. A minibus which was driving past was
also hit and four or five of its passengers were killed.

"How can you explain this act? This is not a military unit,
not a military barracks. There is nothing there."

Such coordinated and massive strikes have become rare but
steady reminders of the capacity of militants to unleash mayhem
in Iraq, even though they no longer control whole swathes of
towns and villages and violence overall has fallen sharply.

The attack by a female suicide bomber in Baquba is part of a
trend that has increased this year. U.S. forces say al Qaeda
Sunni Islamist militants are increasingly recruiting female
bombers -- often teenaged girls -- to thwart security checks.

Many of the female bombers have lost male relatives and are
seen as psychologically vulnerable to recruitment for suicide

Al Qaeda and like-minded groups have been driven out of many
parts of Iraq after local Sunni Arab tribesmen turned against
them, but they are making a stand in northern areas such as the
rural groves near Baquba.

They often target the mainly Sunni U.S.-backed security
patrols, whom they call collaborators.

Date created : 2008-11-10