Twin bombs in central Baghdad kill scores

Click to follow

Two bombs exploded seconds apart in a predominantly Shiite commercial area in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 78 people and wounding at least 156, police and Deputy Health Minister Hakim al-Zamili said.

The first blast occurred shortly after noon when a satchel bomb blew up among the stalls of vendors selling DVDs and secondhand clothes in the Bab al-Sharqi area between Tayaran and Tahrir squares. Within seconds, a parked car bomb detonated just meters (yards) away.

Police and hospital officials said at least 78 people were killed and 156 wounded.

The wounded were taken to nearby al-Kindi Hospital where emergency personnel worked feverishly over the bloodied and badly wounded survivors.

Corpses covered in blue and white cloth littered the outdoor courtyard at the hospital. Family members and friends squatted at the side of the dead, screaming in grief and crying out oaths.

On Thursday,a parked car bomb blew up as an Iraqi police patrol was traveling in the district, killing four people — two policemen and two civilians — and wounding 11 others. The blast burned many cars and shattered nearby windows.

A suicide bomber killed at least 63 people in the same area last month.

The explosions came hours after gunmen killed a female teacher as she was on her way to work at a girls' school in the mainly Sunni area of Khadra in western Baghdad, police said, adding that the teacher's driver was wounded in the drive-by shooting.

Later, two mortar shells slammed into a primary school in Dora, the dangerous south Baghdad neighborhood, killing a woman who was waiting to take her child home. Eight students were wounded, police said.