Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Bombing rocks Baghdad bus station


Aftermath of car bomb attack on Baghdad bus station

At least 16 people have been killed in two simultaneous explosions at a bus terminal in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, police and medical sources have said.

Another 40 people were wounded in the blasts, caused by a two bombs near the terminal in the Bayaa neighbourhood in the south west of the city.

The area is a predominantly Shia Muslim inhabited part of the city.

At least two other blasts have been reported on the day in which Shia Muslims mark the Arbain festival.

Iraqi police and US soldiers cordoned off the scene of the blast in Bayaa.

The blasts were so powerful it blew the roofs off from nearby roadside stalls, the AFP news agency reported. Wreckage was strewn over the site.

Roadside blasts

A roadside bomb in Waziriya in the north of Baghdad killed one pilgrim and wounded six others as they walked toward the southern holy city of Kerbala, police were quoted by the Reuters news agency.

The bomb also injured another six civilians in a minibus.

Map showing location of Bayaa

Another roadside bomb hit Shia pilgrims in the south of the city at Zafaraniya, killing one and wounding five, police said.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN chief's special representative to Iraq, condemned the attacks on Shia pilgrims as "murderous attack which was clearly designed to provoke sectarian tensions".

The violence continued "even though the people of Iraq had clearly indicated through their votes on 31 January that they wish to put that sad phase of Iraqi history well behind them," Mr de Mistura said in a statement.

In other incidents:

  • A soldier was killed and at least one more wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in the northern city of Mosul.
  • Two other police were killed and three wounded in a roadside bomb blast near Iskandiriya, 40km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, AFP reported.

Violent attacks still take place regularly in the Iraqi capital, but the number and severity of the attacks has fallen recently.

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