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Baghdad bombs kill 37, unleash Iraqi anger

BAGHDAD — Anger boiled over in Baghdad streets at Iraqi soldiers and police after they failed to prevent a series of coordinated bombings across the city Monday that left 37 dead and more than 100 wounded.

Iraq's government blamed the attacks on supporters of Saddam Hussein "in cooperation with the al-Qaida terrorist organization" and suggested the blasts were timed for today's anniversary of the founding of the late dictator's Baath Party.

The attacks, which one Interior Ministry official called the worst breach of security in Baghdad this year, occurred as the U.S. military is drawing down its forces in the capital. Some Iraqis wondered whether their own soldiers and police can maintain order if Shiite-Sunni violence flares again once the Americans have gone.

At the site of one blast, in the former militia stronghold of Sadr City, angry crowds hurled stones at Iraqi soldiers in a display of bitterness that they failed to prevent a car bomb from entering a busy market, where it exploded.

"We see nothing from them. They are useless," complained Mohammed Latif, a government employee who lives in Sadr City.

The attacks were stunning in their scope, striking widely dispersed targets from the northeast to the southwest of the sprawling city over a four-hour period. That cast doubt on U.S. and Iraqi claims that militants were no longer capable of the sort of mass attacks that shook Baghdad in 2006 and 2007.

No group claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Baghdad bombs kill 37, unleash Iraqi anger 04/06/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 6, 2009 10:38pm]
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