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Wave of car bombings in Iraq kills at least 58

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm •  Published: July 29, 2013
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In the capital alone, a dozen car bombs struck at least nine neighborhoods, all but two of them predominantly Shiite, in the span of an hour, killing at least 37 people, police said. The deadliest blasts hit the eastern Shiite slum of Sadr City, where two bombs killed at least nine civilians and wounded 33 others.

After the Sadr City explosions, ambulances raced to the scene, where rescue teams tended to the wounded and police tried to sift through the rubble. The twisted, mangled wreckage of cars littered the pavement, which in spots was stained red with blood.

Ali Khalil, a 36-year-old taxi driver, said he was passing nearby when the first bomb went off.

"I heard a thunderous explosion that shook my car and broke the rear window," Khalil said. "I immediately pulled over and didn't know what to do ... people were running or lying on the ground."

He said he rushed two wounded people to a nearby hospital before heading back to his home to stay indoors for the rest the day. Like many Iraqis, he blamed political infighting and incapable security forces for the deteriorated security situation.

A blast in the town of Mahmoudiyah outside of Baghdad killed three more people.

The wave of bombings also extended to Iraq's majority-Shiite south.

Car bombs that struck an outdoor market and near a cluster of construction workers killed at least seven civilians and wounded 35 in the city of Kut, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, while a blast near an outdoor market in the city of Samawa killed three and wounded 14, officials said.

Another car bomb in a marketplace in the oil-rich city of Basra, some 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, killed four people and wounded five, according to police.

Outside the northern city of Mosul, which has been a major flashpoint in the recent surge of violence, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a military post, killing one soldier and wounding three others.

On Monday night, police said three people died and nine others were wounded when a bomb went off inside a small cafe in Madain, about 20 kilometers (14 miles) southeast of Baghdad.

Health officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

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Associated Press writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report from Baghdad.