Car bomb blast in Iraq kills nine, 27 wounded


A car bomb explosion near a market in a predominantly Shi’ite area of southern Baghdad killed nine people and wounded 27, security sources said.

Iraqi security forces went on high alert on Monday after US commandos killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Security officials said they expected the Sunni Islamist group’s local affiliate to carry out revenge attacks.

Iraq became a major al Qaeda battlefield after the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, Reuters reports.

An Interior Ministry source and a police source put the blast’s toll at nine dead and 27 wounded. The sources did not want to be identified.
“It was a bomb inside a vehicle which resulted in the death and injury of a number of civilians in the district of Abu Dsheer,” said Major-General Qassim al-Moussawi, Baghdad’s security spokesman. He declined to give a casualty toll.

Abu Dsheer is a poor, crowded, mainly Shi’ite district surrounded by predominantly Sunni areas, many of them once controlled by al Qaeda.

It was one of the areas hit last November in a series of bombings across the Iraqi capital that killed more than 40 people and wounded scores of others.

Violence has fallen sharply in Iraq in recent years from the peak of sectarian violence in 2006-07 but militants still launch dozens of bombings and other attacks each month. Iraqi security officials frequently point the blame at al Qaeda.

The head of Iraq’s grain board was wounded in an apparent assassination attempt on Tuesday when a roadside bomb hit his motorcade in Baghdad.

Hassan Ibrahim suffered fractures and other wounds in a blast that killed his driver. He was appointed in March to lead the body that provides Iraq, one of the world’s largest grain importers, with wheat and rice for its national food ration programme.