A car bomb tore through a market area in a mainly Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad today, killing more than 50 people and wounding dozens, officials said. It was the deadliest such attack in more than three months. Nobody claimed responsibility, but it bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which is known to use car bombs and suicide attacks.
The attack occurred just before 6 pm as the market in the northwestern Hurriyah neighborhood was packed with shoppers preparing for their evening meals. The casualty toll spiked to at least 51 killed and 75 wounded after rescue crews extinguished the blaze and found the bodies of dozens of victims. US officials have consistently said that they have al-Qaeda in Iraq on the run but warned that the insurgents retain the ability to stage high-profile attacks.