BAGHDAD – Six bombs rocked Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad on Monday, killing 36 people and wounding more than 110, officials said.
Angry survivors hurled stones at Iraqi soldiers at the site of one of the blasts in Sadr City after troops fired shots in the air to disperse crowds of people trying to care for the injured, witnesses said.
No group claimed responsibility. But, a U.S. military spokesman said the attacks appeared to be a coordinated assault by Al Qaeda, saying the nature of the targets was consistent with past attacks.
Twelve people were killed in a market in western Baghdad when two car bombs exploded almost simultaneously, while 32 others were wounded, an Iraqi police official said.
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The day's violence started with a car bomb at 7:30 a.m. in the center of the capital, that killed at least six people and wounded 16, said a police official, who described the victims as mostly day laborers seeking work.
Later, a parked car bomb exploded at a market in the Shiite slum of Sadr City, killing 10 people, including three women and four children, and wounded at least 28 others, said Iraqi police and medical officials. Within minutes, another bomb went off, at another eastern Baghdad market, killing two more people and wounding 12, said a security official.
Salim Mutar, 18, one of the wounded laborers in the central Baghdad explosion, described a large fireball rising into the air.
"It shook the area," said Mutar, who was hit in the arm by flying shrapnel. "I was so lucky."
A roadside bomb targeting a three-vehicle police convoy carrying an Interior Ministry official in eastern Baghdad killed three people, including two of the official's guards, and wounded eight others, said another police official.
The ministry official, identified only as a deputy director of homeland security, escaped the attack uninjured. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
In Sadr City, witnesses described chaos in the aftermath of the bombing. Local resident, Adnan al-Sudani, 37, rushed to the scene after the explosion and said he saw "several people dead and some burned."
"When the Iraqi army forces arrived, they began firing randomly at people gathered to disperse them," he said, adding that people responded by throwing stones at the soldiers.
Pieces of the car bomb were scattered across the area, with twisted metal strewn throughout the market's stalls. Shoes and sandals, left behind by the dead and wounded, were piled on the ground.