Scores killed in Iraq blast

A car bomb has exploded among a group of labourers in a market in southern Iraq, killing 59 people.

    Iraqis survey the devastation left by a car bomb in Kufa

    More than 50 people were also wounded after the blast occurred in the mainly Shia city of Kufa, 160km south of Baghdad, as the workers were boarding a minibus close to a Shia shrine.

    Policemen arriving at the scene were pelted with stones by protesters, believed to be supporters of a radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

    "It is very chaotic. Police are shooting into the air and the crowds are running," a Reuters reporter said.

    The bombing comes a day after gunmen killed 55 people and wounded nearly 60 others in an attack at

     a market in al-Mahmudiya, 30km south of Baghdad.

    Shia worshippers and g

    atherings of labourers in crowded markets have become a target of Sunni insurgents, who Iraqi and US officials say are intent on causing a civil war between Shia and Sunnis.

    Earlier this month, a bomb attack against a bus for Iranian visitors outside the Maytham al-Tammar shrine killed 12 people and wounded dozens, most of them Iranian nationals.

    Kufa is close to the mainly Shia city of Najaf.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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