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Iraqi Officials: Bombs Kill At Least 54 in Baghdad

  • VOA News

Iraqi security officials say at least 54 people have been killed and more than 120 wounded in two roadside bombings in Baghdad.

Police say the bombings went off within minutes of each other Thursday destroying shops and cars in the Karrada neighborhood in the Iraqi capital.

The US military says the bombings took place at around 7:00 p.m. local time (1600 GMT).

A senior US military officer in Baghdad, Colonel Allen Batschelet, described the attack in a statement as a senseless act of violence directed against the Iraqi people.

The attacks occurred despite an overall drop in violence since the US military sent 30-thousand extra troops to Iraq last year.

The US military said today some two thousand American soldiers are being withdrawn from Iraq and will not be replaced. The soldiers were part of the extra troops sent to Iraq last year to help stop the sectarian violence that had the country on the verge of civil war.

The US military also announced today that coalition forces killed four terrorists and detained 26 others in raids targeting al-Qaida fighters in central and northern Iraq.

The military also says coalition forces detained four suspects linked to a criminal militia that was not honoring a cease-fire pledge by radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Last month, Sadr extended for another six months a cease-fire between his Mahdi army militia and US and Iraqi forces. US officials say the cease-fire has been key to reducing violence in Iraq by 60 percent since June.
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