BAGHDAD — A car bomb ripped through a busy commercial street in a Shiite area of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 51 people and wounding scores more in the deadliest blast in the capital in more than three months.
Many victims were trapped in their apartments by a raging fire that engulfed at least one building, according to police and Interior Ministry officials, who also said about 75 people were wounded.
Stunned survivors stumbled through the rubble-strewn street, which was filled with smoke from burning vehicles, witnesses said.
The attack shattered the relative calm in the capital since a May 11 cease-fire ended seven weeks of fighting between U.S. and Iraqi forces and Shiite militants in the Sadr City district.
The bomber struck about 5:45 p.m. near a market and bus stop in the Hurriyah district of west Baghdad, scene of some of the most horrific sectarian massacres during the wave of Sunni-Shiite slaughter in 2006.
The blast was the deadliest attack in Baghdad since March 6, when two bombs detonated in the mostly Shiite district of Karradah, killing 68 people and wounding about 120.
No group claimed responsibility for Tuesday's blast, and both Sunni and Shiite militants have used car bombs in their attacks.