INTERNATIONAL

Truck bomb kills 100 in Iraq market

Four U.S. personnel killed

TIKRIT: One hundred persons were killed and 120 wounded in a truck bomb explosion at a popular market in a town in Salahudin province north of Baghdad on Saturday, a police source said.

“We have 100 people killed and some 120 others wounded in the attack on the outdoor market in the village of Amerli near Tuz-Khurmato town,” the source said, citing a report from the provincial health directorate.

A booby-trapped truck detonated at the crowded outdoor market in the mixed Shia Kurdish and Turkoman village of Amerli, near the Tuz-Khurmato town, 90 km east of Tikrit, according to the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A hospital source in Tikrit, 170 km north of Baghdad, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur that the blast was “so intense that the casualty toll could very well increase” in the hours following the attack.

Shops in the market had sustained serious damage. Witnesses said they saw police cordoning off the area following the incident as ambulances rushed to the scene.

At least 20 persons were killed and 20 others injured in Khanaqin, 180 km north-east of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber drove a vehicle into a funeral cortege on Friday evening, police sources said.

Khanaqin is populated mainly by Kurds, but is in Diyala province and outside the Kurdish autonomous region where the security situation is more stable. Also on Saturday, the U.S. military announced that at least four U.S. servicemen were killed and six were wounded in operations across the Iraqi capital. In one incident, a soldier was killed on Friday when an “explosively-formed penetrator” targeted his patrol south-east of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

Sadr group flayed

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said on Saturday that the movement of radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has been infiltrated by Ba’athists and gangs in one of his harshest criticism of the group that helped him come to power.

Mr. Al-Maliki demanded Sadrist leaders take “decisive and clear” action to ensure they are not blamed for acts of violence carried out in their group’s name.

Despite being strong allies in the past, tension has been rising between Mr. Al-Maliki and the Sadrists recently and culminated in April when six Ministers loyal to Mr. Al-Sadr quit the Cabinet.

“We hear the statements of officials in the Sadrist movement in which they say that they are against the use of weapons and condemn those who carry arms. This puts us in front of a fact that we should courageously face,” Mr. Al-Maliki said.

Al-Maliki called “the leaders of the Sadrist Movement to take decisive and clear decisions so that they don’t bear responsibility for those who use the name (of the organization) for killings and acts of terrorism.” Agencies

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