BAGHDAD, Iraq – 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. It appeared to be the deadliest car bombing against civilians in the capital in weeks.
The suspected bomber was arrested.
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. Terrified children screamed while several women wailed "Our children have died!" and "The terrorists, may God punish them!"
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 the hospital, said Abdul-Razaq, who arrived at the scene shortly after the bomb went off at 4:45 p.m. Television footage showed women with bloody faces being treated by doctors.
Tuesday's bombing appeared to be the worst in Baghdad since Jan. 19, when a suicide attacker blew himself up in a downtown coffee shop, killing 22 people and injuring 23.
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.
Witnesses said at least four passing cars caught fire and some motorists were killed or seriously wounded. Ambulances hurried to the scene, while motorists helped ferry the injured to hospitals.
At Yarmouk hospital, two women relatives of those killed — dressed in black abaya robes — appeared dazed as they squatted on the floor of a corridor. Medics scurried about tending wounded with blood streaming down their faces.
Several bodies covered by blankets lay atop gurneys as ambulances arrived with more wounded.
The market consisted of shops mostly selling domestic appliances such as refrigerators and cookers.
But vendors sell sweets and vegetables from sidewalk stalls. Shattered pieces of fruits and vegetables mixed with huge pools of blood on the street.