Iraq blast toll highest for nine months

Friday 07 March 2008 19.39
Baghdad - 68 killed by co-ordinated bomb attacks
Baghdad - 68 killed by co-ordinated bomb attacks

Iraqi police say 68 people were killed in coordinated bombings in a packed shopping area in central Baghdad yesterday.

The total makes it the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital for nine months.

Another 120 were wounded when two bombs exploded within minutes of each other on in the mainly Shia Karrada district.

The incident was the single bloodiest attack in Baghdad since last June.

The streets were packed at the time of the blasts with vendors selling goods on sidewalks and residents shopping at the start of the weekend.

Iraqi and US officials said a roadside bomb exploded first.

Minutes later, as Iraqi security forces and locals gathered to tend to the casualties, there was a second, larger blast.

Women and children were among the casualties.
Police and the US military said they believed the second explosion was caused by a suicide bomber.

Last month, two women killed 99 people when they detonated explosives in packed pet markets, with 62 dying in the deadlier of the two bombings.