A series of bomb attacks at markets in Baghdad have killed at least 76 people. The deadliest was on the Shorja wholesale market where at least 71 people were killed and 164 wounded as car bombs went off.
An attack on the Bab al-Sharji market, also in central Baghdad, killed at least five people.
The attacks occurred around the same time as Shi’ite government officials, including the Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, held several minutes of silence to mark the first anniversary of the bombing of the al-Aksari shrine in Samarra.
The Prime Minister was speaking as a blast went off. “We are all equal in terms of construction, in terms of the responsibility involved. Let’s look to our laws and rights because this is our country, everyone has to feel a responsibility. It is for each person to respect the other in their actions and their beliefs.”
Earlier, Iraq’s Shi’ite cleric – the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani – urged followers not to seek revenge.
He said the Samarra bombing a year ago, blamed on Sunni militants, had plunged Iraq into a cycle of blind violence.