Car Bomb Blast Kills 22 In Iraq

Iraqis inspect the wreckage of a car that exploded in Baghdad, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006. In the latest violence, six people were killed and at least 21 injured in a series of bombings Tuesday, mostly in Baghdad, according to police. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
A car bomb exploded Tuesday at an outdoor market in a Shiite area of southwestern Baghdad, killing 22 people and wounding 28, Iraqi police said. The suspected bomber was arrested. It appeared to be the deadliest car bombing against civilians in the capital in weeks.

Lt. Mohammed Khayoun said the car was parked on a street about 30 yards from a police checkpoint in a Shiite part of the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Dora.

The blast left several cars burning and some nearby stores ablaze.

Another police officer, Maj. Gen. Mahdi al-Gharawi, said the bomb was detonated by remote control and an Iraqi suspected of triggering the device had been arrested.

Police 1st Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq said the explosion apparently was aimed at a police patrol but missed its target.

The injured were taken to hospital, said Abdul-Razaq, who arrived at the scene shortly after the bomb went off at 4:45 p.m.

Dora is among the most dangerous neighborhoods in Baghdad, where car bombings and roadside bombs have been a daily occurrence since a Sunni-dominated insurgency began in the summer of 2003.

Terrified children screamed while several women wailed: "Our children have died" and "the terrorists, may God punish them."

In other developments:

  • In attacks apart from the suicide bomb Tuesday, at least eight people killed and 32 injured in explosions and shootings, including a spate of bombings targeting liquor stores, beauty parlors and other businesses in Baqouba, probably the work of Islamic extremists.
  • Reporters Without Borders said it was launching a weeklong international campaign for the release of kidnapped American reporter Jill Carroll and two abducted Iraqi journalists, Rim Zeid and Marwan Khazaal. Carroll's kidnappers have set Sunday as the new deadline for meeting their demands, which have not been publicized yet.
  • In eastern Baghdad, Iraqi Migration Minister Suhaila Abed Jaafar escaped injury when a bomb exploded near her convoy, police said Tuesday. Three security guards were wounded.
  • Late Monday, in the northern town of Beiji, several men wearing Iraqi army uniforms kidnapped Fares Abdul-Nabi, an engineer at Iraq's largest oil refinery, police said.
  • Iran is in Iraq, Khalilzad said Monday. He also criticized Iran for demanding that British forces immediately withdraw from the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The demand was made Feb. 17 by Iranian Foreign Minister Manushehr Mottaki while on a visit to Lebanon.