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Iraq Transition

Market, bridge bombings kill dozens in Iraq

Story Highlights

• Car bomb in holy city of Karbala kills 43, injures 55
• Baghdad bridge bombing kills at least 10; Baghdad-area bomb kills three
• Authorities probe Thursday blast at Iraqi parliament complex
• U.S. Army commander says al Qaeda probably tied to bombing
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Bombings in Karbala and the Baghdad area killed at least 56 people and wounded scores of others Saturday morning, police and medical officials said.

A car bomb blast in a crowded shopping area of central Karbala, a holy Shiite city about 70 miles southwest of Baghdad, killed at least 43 people and wounded 55, according to an official at Hussein Hospital in Karbala.

The explosion went off near a bus station and just 200 yards from the Imam Hussein shrine. (Watch chaos as rescuers try to evacuate bomb victims Video)

Video of the scene broadcast on Iraqi television showed hundreds of people crowded around the bomb site as emergency workers placed victims in ambulances.

A short time later, a car bomb exploded on the Jadriya bridge, which spans the Tigris River in southern Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and wounding 15 others, Iraqi police said. It was not immediately clear how badly the bridge was damaged.

The Jadriya bridge attack came two days after a suicide car bomb detonated on the Sarafiya bridge, which crosses the Tigris in northern Baghdad, also killing 10 people. Two large sections of the bridge collapsed into the river.

Eleven major bridges cross the Tigris River in Baghdad.

In other violence Saturday morning, a roadside bomb blast that targeted a police patrol in Madaan killed two Iraqi police officers and one civilian. Madaan is about 12 miles southeast of Baghdad. Four police officers and four civilians were also hurt.

Also, gunmen attacked the home of a Sunni member of Iraq's parliament Saturday morning. Five guards were wounded in the half-hour battle at the western Baghdad residence of Adnan al-Dulaimi, the head of the Sunni political party known as the General Conference of People of Iraq.

Five other Iraqis were wounded in two separate roadside bomb explosions in Baghdad.

British soldiers killed eight insurgents who were planting roadside bombs on the outskirts of the southern Iraqi city of Basra Friday night, a statement from the British military said.

Parliament blast probed

On Friday, a U.S. Army commander said authorities still can't verify who bombed the Iraqi parliament complex a day earlier, but al Qaeda in Iraq probably was involved.

Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, the commander of the Multinational Corps-Iraq, told reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference from Iraq that his hunch, "based on past events," is that al Qaeda in Iraq is "probably somewhat involved."

"But we don't know for sure yet," Odierno stressed.

He made the remark not long after news emerged of a Web site claim of responsibility by an insurgent umbrella group called the Islamic State of Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq is part of that group.

Earlier Friday, authorities said they had detained people for questioning in the suicide attack, which killed a Sunni lawmaker and wounded 22 other people in the parliament's cafeteria. Initial reports of as many as eight deaths were incorrect.

Asked how a bomber could elude security in the heavily fortified Green Zone, where parliament is located, Odierno said: "Something didn't go right. There's plenty of defenses there, and they should not be able to penetrate it."

Iraqi authorities were questioning three cafeteria workers and several security officers, said Hassan al-Sineid, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's adviser.

Investigators are looking at the possibility the bomber was helped by others with access to the high-security area inside the Baghdad convention center, according to a senior U.S. military official and a Shiite parliament member.

Iraq's parliament, the Council of Representatives, convened on Friday in a special session, an effort to show that it will not be cowed. However, the session was poorly attended.

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Iraqis gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in Karbala on Saturday that killed at least 43 people.


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