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Car bomb in Baghdad kills 20

A CAR bomb exploded near a crowded market in a mainly Shiite area in Baghdad yesterday, killing as many as 20 people, Iraqi officials said, in the fifth major attack in Iraq this month.

The blast came a day after the United States military said overall attacks nationwide have fallen to levels of the early months of the war, which began with the US-led invasion in March 2003.

The car was parked near a bus terminal surrounded by shops in the eastern Shaab district when it blew up shortly after noon, officials said.

Iraqi police and hospital officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 20 killed included four children and four women. The officials said 35 people were wounded.

Shaab is a former Shiite militia stronghold that has seen a sharp drop in violence since anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr declared a cease-fire.

But Baghdad and surrounding areas have seen a spike in bombings, raising concerns that Sunni insurgents may be regrouping as the US begins to hand over security to the Iraqis ahead of a planned troop withdrawal by the end of 2011.


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