Blasts Target Iraqi Market

From the Associated Press

Five people were killed Monday when bombs exploded in a market south of here, and at least 11 deaths were reported elsewhere, including that of a U.S. Marine slain in Al Anbar province, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.

The U.S. military also reported that an American soldier died Sunday in a roadside bombing north of Baghdad.

Two blasts ripped through the outdoor market in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad. The first struck about 12:30 p.m. and the second four hours later. Three people were killed and 22 were wounded in the first blast, police Lt. Mohammed Khayoun said. In the second, two people died and three were injured, he said.

Late Sunday, three people were killed and 10 were wounded in a blast at the same market. Mahmoudiya is a hotbed of conflict between Shiites who live in the town and Sunnis who form the majority in surrounding farm communities.


Amid the violence, the largest Sunni bloc in parliament boycotted a legislative session Monday to press its demand for the release of Sunni female legislator Taiseer Mashhadani, who was seized two days ago by gunmen at a checkpoint in a mostly Shiite district of the capital.

Sunni politician Noureddine Hyali said Mashhadani was believed to be held somewhere near eastern Baghdad’s Ur neighborhood, a predominantly Shiite area controlled by cleric Muqtada Sadr’s Al Mahdi militia.

A Shiite official with close ties to Sadr, Ali Lami, insisted that the militia was not holding Mashhadani and had offered to help find her.

Near Basra, gunmen burst into the home of a Sunni family, killed a man and his son and kidnapped six people, a police officer said. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.


In the northern city of Mosul, seven people were killed and 28 were wounded in a car bombing, police said.

Iraqi government figures showed Monday that deaths among Iraqi civilians, police and soldiers fell slightly last month but that the number of wounded rose.

Of the 1,006 Iraqis reported killed in political or sectarian violence last month, 885 were civilians, according to figures from the Defense, Interior and Health ministries.

The overall figure was down from the 1,053 deaths recorded by the ministries in May.