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Car Bomb Explodes In Crowded Baghdad Book Market

By Carolyn E. Price     Mar 5, 2007 in World
A suicide bomber has killed at least 26 people in the commercial centre of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
The relative calm of Baghdad was broken once again today when a suicide bomber blew up his car ourside a busy book market. This bombing was the first major attack in Baghdad in days, and the deadliest one in just over a week since a female suicide bomber killed 40 people. Today's attack was on Mutanabbi Street, a street that was named after a renowned classical Arabic poet and the business that are in the market are owned by a mixture of Shia and Sunni's.
Witnesses are reporting that many of the book shops caught fire after the bomb went off and more than a dozen cars were burnt out by the explosion.
This is the third week of a joint Iraqi and US security forces operation that is trying to stop the violence in Baghdad and given the relative quiet in Baghdad over the past few days, it appears to be mmoving in that direction. An increase in checkpoints and troops on the streets have reduced the death squad killings, but US military officials say car bombs remain a risk.
The bomb sent a huge column of black smoke into the sky over Baghdad's commercial centre. Pools of blood collected in the street, a result of the dozens of blast injuries sustained by shoppers.
A witness quoted by Reuters news agency said there were women and children among the casualties. People drove the injured to hospital in private cars without waiting for ambulances.
"There was so much smoke that I was vomiting," said the witness who was in a bookshop when the windows were blown out by the blast.
"Papers from the book market were floating through the air like leaflets dropped from a plane," said Naim Daraji, a civil servant. "Pieces of flesh and the remains of books were scattered everywhere."
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