Six wounded in Baghdad car bombings

Six people were wounded when three car bombs went off within minutes of each other at a popular market in Baghdad's southern Dura district, an Interior Ministry official said.

    Car bombs have killed hundreds in Iraq

    The bombs were triggered on Friday minutes after the night curfew came into effect at 8pm (1700 GMT) in Baghdad.

    "The first car bomb went off against civilians, while the other  two blew up when police vehicles arrived at the scene of the first blast. Six civilians were wounded in the attacks," the official  said.

    Despite the curfew there were people in the market at the time.

    The official had had earlier said there were four explosions.


    More violence


    Three civilians were killed and three wounded in northeastern Baghdad when a mortar round slammed into a street.


    Earlier in the day, soldiers discovered the bullet-riddled bodies of six men, all aged between 25 and 30 years old and wearing handcuffs, in the west of the capital. Three further bound bodies were found in the Sadr City area.


    Two civilians were also killed in a rocket attack on the interior ministry in central Baghdad.


    In the western Iraqi town of Falluja, a policeman was killed by unidentified gunmen.


    Meanwhile a leading Shia cleric demanded the US sack its ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad and accused him of siding with fellow Sunni Muslims in the country's growing sectarian conflict.

    The call by Ayatollah Mohammed al-Yacoubi came as political leaders, urged on by the Khalilzad, held their latest round of negotiations to form a new government.

    Khalilzad slammed

    Yacoubi said in a sermon read out at mosques for Friday prayers that Washington had underestimated the conflict between Shia and the once dominant Sunni Arab minority, which many fear could trigger a civil war.


    Khalilzad has attracted criticism
    from Shia factions

    "They are either misled by reports which lack objectivity and credibility submitted to the United States by their sectarian ambassador to Iraq ... or they are denying this fact," he said.

    Yacoubi is the spiritual guide for the Fadhila party, one of the smaller but still influential components of the dominant Islamist Alliance bloc. He is not part of the senior clerical council around Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf.

    Nonetheless, Shia politicians said his comments reflected widespread disenchantment among them with the ambassador.

    Afghan-born Khalilzad is the highest ranking Muslim in the US administration and has been in Iraq ten months, fronting concerted US efforts to press politicians into forming a government.

    He has been criticised by Shia leaders who resent his championing of efforts to tempt Sunnis away from armed revolt into a coalition government.

    Yacoubi said: "The American ambassador and the tyrants of the Arab states are giving political support to those parties who provide political cover for the terrorists."

    Alliance leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim accused Khalilzad last month of provoking last month's Samarra bombing by making remarks critical of "sectarian" tendencies among the Shia leadership.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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