Bomb In Box Rips Through Baghdad Pet Market, Kills 15 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/26/07 - Baghdad, Iraq

Bomb In Box Rips Through Baghdad Pet Market, Kills 15

A man wounded in Friday's bombing at a Baghdad pet market is brought into a hospital. A man wounded in Friday's bombing at a Baghdad pet market is brought into a hospital.
A resident cleans up debris Friday at a building damaged by a car bomb Thursday in the Karrada district of Baghdad. A resident cleans up debris Friday at a building damaged by a car bomb Thursday in the Karrada district of Baghdad.

A bomb stashed in a box exploded in a pet market in central Baghdad Friday morning, killing at least 15 people and wounding 35 others, an Iraqi interior ministry official said.

The Ghazel pet market is a popular destination for civilians on Fridays. People gather to sell and buy monkeys, cats, dogs and other animals.

The same pet market has been targeted on multiple occasions. In December, militants launched a mortar round into the market, killing three people and wounding 28 in the attack.

And in June, four people were killed and at least 50 injured when twin bombs detonated in the market.

In Friday's attack, a witness told The Associated Press that an egg carton containing pigeons blew up as potential buyers gathered around.

"My friends and I rushed to the scene where we saw burned dead bodies, pieces of flesh and several dead expensive puppies and birds," market customer Raad Hassan told the AP.

Also Friday, a U.S. Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 6 died Friday from "wounds sustained due to enemy action" while fighting in Iraq's volatile Anbar province, the U.S. military announced.

The latest death brings the total number of American military personnel who have died in Iraq to 3,058. Seven civilian contractors of the Defense Department also have been killed in the war.

Two other bombings were in Baghdad before noon on Friday wounded four civilians, and Iraqi police discovered six bullet-riddled bodies showing signs of torture dumped in an open yard in central Baghdad.

Friday's violence came a day after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki urged the Iraqi parliament to keep politics out of a new security plan for the capital.

Al-Maliki's address came as bombings, mortar attacks and shootings killed at least 38 people around Baghdad, and police found 40 unidentified bodies dumped in the Iraqi capital.

No one who engages in violence, either Shiite or Sunni, will be spared, al-Maliki said in an address shown live on national TV.

"I ask everyone to excuse us as we do the job," he said. "No school, house, mosque or husseiniya [Shiite mosques] will be out of reach of our forces if they are harboring outlaws. The same for political party headquarters."

The Iraqi leader dismissed the notion that his Shiite-led government was carrying out a vendetta against the minority Sunnis, who dominated Iraq during Saddam Hussein's rule.

"It's a law-and-order oriented plan, and it's not targeted against any sectarian group as claimed by some media outlets," al-Maliki said. "Some say it's targeting Shiites; others say it's targeting Sunnis.

"I say it's targeting everyone -- everyone that is outside the law."

Al-Maliki asserted that the security efforts were 100 percent Iraqi, with U.S.-led coalition forces "just backing us up."

Al-Maliki also promised that the army and police will not breach human rights to secure the capital. He said that rebuilding neighborhoods was part of the plan, which will carry humanitarian, social and economic components.

Al-Maliki said the security crackdown did not represent a last stand. "If we do not accomplish all our goals with this plan, we will revise it. There will be a second, third and fourth plan if need be," he said.

A plan announced two weeks ago by President Bush will add 21,500 U.S. troops to the roughly 132,000 already in Iraq, and the troop increase has been criticized by some in the U.S. Congress.

On Thursday, Republican Sen. John McCain, a leading advocate of sending more U.S. troops, said he'll try to blunt the impact of proposed Senate resolutions opposing a buildup with a new resolution of his own.

Other developments

  • The Bush administration has authorized U.S. forces to kill or seize Iranian agents operating inside Iraq, the Washington Post reported, citing government and counterterrorism officials.
  • Iraqi police backed by coalition forces detained five members of an illegally armed militia and arrested seven others during operations south of the capital near Kawam, according to the U.S. military. Coalition forces detained 13 suspected terrorists during raids Thursday in Karmah, in Anbar province near Syria; and Mosul in northern Iraq's Nineveh province, the U.S. military said.
  • Story courtesy of CNN Newsource.

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