Page last updated at 20:43 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 21:43 UK

Iraq suicide bombing hits market

A boy injured in fighting in Baghdad is treated by medics on 1 May 2008
Fighting continues in Baghdad

Twin suicide bombers have killed at least 35 people and injured 65 in an attack at a market in the Iraqi province of Diyala, officials say.

The attacks were mounted in Balad Ruz, 30km (20 miles) east of Baquba, as a group of wedding guests passed through the area.

Police arrived after a woman set off a bomb belt. At that point, a man blew also himself up among bystanders.

The attack comes as Iraq says at least 968 civilians were killed in April.


The finger of blame for the Balad Ruz attack is bound to be pointed at al-Qaeda in Iraq or its sympathisers, the BBC's Clive Myrie reports from Baghdad.

The Sunni extremist group's fighters are believed to have tried to regroup in Diyala since being driven out of Anbar province and the capital, our correspondent adds.

Ibrahim Hassan, 26, described the attacks in Balad Ruz during which he was wounded.

"The first blast happened in front of an ice cream shop," he told AFP news agency.

"A lot of people ran to help the wounded, but two minutes later another bomber blew himself up in the crowd."

'Depraved' Maliki

Iraqi government troops backed by the US military are continuing to fight a tough battle against Shia militia groups in Baghdad.


Turmoil and bloodshed in Sadr City

The fighting, in which more than 400 people have died over the last month, has been concentrated in the capital's eastern district of Sadr City, a stronghold of the Mehdi Army militia of radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.

On Thursday, Iraqi deputies denounced the government, using a quotation from the Koran to describe Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki as "depraved".

The criticism came from the bloc of MPs who support the Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr - which once backed Mr Maliki.

Nine people died on Thursday in a Baghdad bomb blast aimed at US troops. The death toll also rose in the sprawling Sadr City district.

Another difficult front being opened up to the north in Diyala province is the last thing the government now needs, our correspondent says.

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