Three bomb attacks at markets in central Baghdad killed at least 64 people on Monday as Iraqis marked the first anniversary of a Shi'ite shrine bombing that pitched the country to the brink of civil war.
In the deadliest attack, twin car bombings exploded in quick succession in the Shorja wholesale market, killing at least 59 people and wounding 150, police said. Interior Ministry sources said the blasts were caused by a car bomb and a roadside bomb.
Huge clouds of black smoke and flames belched from a multi-storey building that houses wholesale clothing merchants, turning a cloudless day into night in the debris-strewn street.
The blasts, which echoed across Baghdad, reduced market stalls to mangled wrecks. People with wooden carts carried badly wounded survivors with bandaged legs, arms and heads.
"I saw three bodies shredded apart and people wounded being transported by ambulances," said witness Wathiq Ibrahim.
"Paramedics were picking up body pieces and human flesh from the pools of blood on the ground and placing them in small plastic bags," he said, adding that 20 cars were set on fire.
"The smoke turned the place dark."
The above is from Ibon Villelabeitia's "Bombs kill at least 64 in Baghdad markets" (Reuters). I'm waking up slowly this morning (long night, long weekend). I'm going through the e-mails and there will be another entry this morning. But for now, let's just note today's violence. Today, the US military announced: "A Soldier assigned to Multi-National Corps-Iraq, died February 11, 2007 in a non-combat related incident" and they announced: "A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier died when insurgentstargeted a security patrol in a western segment of the Iraqi capital Feb. 11. While conducting a cordon and search operation, the patrol came under enemysmall arms fire. One Soldier was killed and another was wounded in the attack."
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