Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 19, 2013

Wave of Iraq blasts kill 57 decade after invasion

(Continued)

The violence started at around 8 a.m. Tuesday, when a bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant in Baghdad's Mashtal neighborhood, killing four people, according to police and hospital officials. It blew out the eatery's windows and left several cars mangled in the blood-streaked street.

Minutes later, a roadside bomb hit a gathering point for day laborers in the New Baghdad area, killing two of them.

The sprawling Shiite slum district of Sadr City was hit by three explosions that killed 10 people, including three commuters on a minibus.

Hussein Abdul-Khaliq, a government employee who lives in Sadr city, said he heard an explosion and went out to find the minibus on fire.

"We helped take some trapped women and children from outside the burning bus before the arrival of the rescue teams. Our clothes were covered with blood as we tried to rescue the trapped people or to move out the bodies," he said. "Today's attacks are new proof that the politicians and security officials are a huge failure."

The deadliest attack was a 10 a.m. car bombing near the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Baghdad's eastern Qahira neighborhood, which killed seven people.

Another car bomb exploded outside a restaurant near one of the main gates to the fortified Green Zone, which houses major government offices and the U.S. and British embassies, killing six people, including two soldiers. Thick black smoke could be seen rising from the area as ambulances raced to the scene.

Just north of the capital, a mortar shell landed near a clinic north of Baghdad in Taji, killing two people, while a roadside bomb hit an army patrol in Tarmiyah, killing a soldier.

A car bomb also exploded near a bus stop south of the capital in Iskandiriyah, killing five people.

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