A series of apparently coordinated car bomb attacks have killed more than 140 people in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in one of the most deadly days since the US-led invasion. More than 200 people have been wounded. The blasts went off in the Shi’ite neighbourhood of Sadr City, devastating a crowded market and several streets.
Each car is believed to have been packed with up to half a tonne of explosives. The attacks coincided with a daylight raid on the Shi’ite-run health ministry. Guerrillas fired mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and machine-guns, in one of the biggest shows of strength by militants since 2003. At least half a dozen people were wounded.
The Health ministry is run by followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr whose militia is accused of some of the worst death squad violence in the capital. According to a UN report released last week, Iraq’s civilian death toll reached 120 a day in October.