Middle East

Bomb blasts in Iraq's Sadr City kill 16

Map of Iraq

At least 16 people have been killed by two blasts in Baghdad's predominantly Shia neighbourhood of Sadr City, Iraqi security officials say.

Police said the bombs went off at the al-Hay market. They said the first exploded in a narrow alley.

As people gathered, a second, more powerful blast went off nearby, which caused most of the casualties.

The bombings come a day after the Iraqi capital suffered its worst attacks since August.

A barber in Sadr City, Hassan Rahim, said he was cutting a customer's hair when he heard the first explosion.

"We rushed outside the shop and we saw fire and smoke near the houses," he said.

He went back in his shop to continue working, when the second bomb went off.

"I saw dead people on the ground and several burning cars," the barber said.

"We helped take the wounded to the hospital until the arrival of the ambulances.

"The security forces should do a better job, otherwise we expect more attacks in Sadr city," he said.

"More people here are having the feeling that the security forces cannot protect people."

Bombing resurgence

On Wednesday, 22 people were killed when two suicide bombers detonated explosive-laden vehicles minutes apart.

One of the bombers struck at al-Wiya police station in central Baghdad, and another drove his car into a police checkpoint in the busy residential Hurriya neighbourhood.

Six were killed in other bomb blasts on Wednesday and at least nine people died in three blasts in Baghdad on Monday.

It comes as the last 41,000 American troops still in Iraq prepare to withdraw by the end of the year.

In spite of a decline in violence since its peak in 2006 and 2007, attacks remain common.

Official figures said 185 Iraqis were killed in violence in September.

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