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Middle East
Several dead in Iraq market blast
At least seven people are reported killed in a car bomb attack that hit Mahmoudiya town.
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2009 22:51 GMT
Deaths in Iraq reached a 13-month high in August after a steady drop in violence [EPA]

A car bomb attack in a town south of Baghdad has killed at least seven people and injured 21 others.

The road side blast on Friday evening in the town of Mahmoudiya occurred as people were shopping before the Islamic Eid holiday, according to a security official.

Many other people were buying food for their evening meal, iftar, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when the bomb in a parked car exploded in a predominately Shia area.

The mixed-denomination town, about 30km south of Baghdad, the capital, was previously the scene of consistent attacks.

Triangle of Death

"We were preparing for the iftar when our apartment was shaken by such a heavy blast ... that horrified and panicked our children,'' said Riyadh Jabbar, a Mahmoudiya resident.

"Each time we begin to feel safe and secure, we are awakened by the thunder of blasts.''

Mahmoudiya is in what is known as the Triangle of Death because of the high number of attacks following the 2003 US-led invasion of the country.

Another road side bombing in the Saydiya district in southern Baghdad also injured two civilians on Friday, while a mortar fired at the diplomatic Green Zone in the capital did not cause any casualties.

Overall violence has dropped in Iraq over the past two years.

However, the number of deaths reached a 13-month high in August and attacks on civilians have continued.

There are now fears that Iraqi security forces will not be able to maintain control once US troops withdraw completely from the country by August 2010.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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