Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Evidence of Russian support for Ukrainian rebel counter-attack grows

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

Middle east

Iraq Basra bomb blast kills at least 19 people

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-24

Three bombs exploded in a crowded market in Iraq's southern city of Basra Thursday, killing at least 19 people. The oil rich town is due to host an international conference for oil executives and industry officials on Friday.

REUTERS - Three bombs exploded in a busy market in Iraq’s southern oil city of Basra on Thursday, killing at least 19 people and wounding 65.

Basra, 420 km (240 miles) southeast of Baghdad, is the largest city in the mainly Shi’ite south and the heart of Iraq’s oil industry. It hosts a major conference for international oil executives and industry officials starting on Friday.

The first bomb was hidden in a three-wheeled motorbike and the others exploded after security forces arrived at the market, where vendors sell used motorbikes, mobile phones, construction material and other goods.

"The death toll is 19 killed and 65 wounded," said Riyadh Abdul-Amir, director-general of the Basra health department.

A police source put the toll at 20 dead and 65 wounded.

Noufal Hassan, the owner of a mobile phone shop near the scene, said he heard two explosions at the 'Thieves Market'.

"I immediately went out of my shop and saw the blood ... limbs, hands and legs, bodies spread on the streets," he said. "The nearest shops were shattered and the cars were burned."

The blasts underscored Iraq’s tenuous security situation before the year-end departure of the last of the remaining 18,000 U.S. troops, nearly nine years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi officials have said militants may step up attacks as U.S. troops leave.

Iraq is still plagued by a Sunni Muslim insurgency and Shi’ite Muslim militias that carry out scores of bombings and other attacks each month.

Basra’s four-day oil conference is expected to host senior government oil officials and executives from international companies such as Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.

Basra was hit by a triple bombing on Nov. 2 when explosions struck three cafes on a central street. At least 12 people were killed and 70 wounded.

Most of the victims of Thursday’s bombing were police and soldiers, including several senior leaders, said Ali al-Maliki, head of the Basra provincial council security committee.

"The fingerprints of Baathists and al Qaeda are clear in these explosions," he said.

Iraqi government officials frequently accuse former members of Saddam Hussein’s banned Baath Party of trying to destabilise Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s fragile coalition government.

The government recently rounded up more than 600 former military leaders and Baathists, accusing them of plotting to seize power when U.S. troops leave.

In the city of Ramadi, in western Anbar province, a bomb exploded in a crowded market, wounding five people, police said.

Date created : 2011-11-24

  • IRAQ

    Deadly triple blast rocks Baghdad market

    Read more

  • USA - IRAQ

    US to pull troops out of Iraq by year's end

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Deadly bombings hit volatile city in northern Iraq

    Read more

COMMENT(S)