Insurgents set off two bombs in separate incidents in central Baghdad on Sunday, killing as many as 21 people, witnesses said, and breaking a recent although brief lull in attacks in Iraq’s capital city.
One attack targeted a market near the Green Zone that sells new and used military uniforms. At the time of the bombing the market was crowded with volunteers seeking to join the fight against insurgents who have swept through much of northern Iraq in the past week. Witnesses at the scene, in the Al-Bab Al-Sharqi area, close to Tahrir Square, said 15 people were killed and eight wounded in the midday attack by a suicide bomber wearing a vest full of explosives. Officials put the death toll at nine.
“I picked up the head of the suicide attacker by my own hands,” said Ahmed Al-Fatlawi, 33, who sells clothes and who said two of his friends were killed in the attack. “He was a youth with a big beard.”
Earlier, about 7 a.m. Sunday, a car bomb exploded at a bus station in southern Baghdad’s Bab al-Sheikh neighborhood, killing 12 people and injuring 30, according to a security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to do so publicly.
The last major suicide attack was on Wednesday, when 21 people were killed in the largely Shiite Sadr City neighborhood. On June 7, a spate of attacks throughout Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad killed at least 48 people.