A noon car-bomb blast ravaged Baghdad's historic book market, killing dozens of people and wounding over 100. The bomb destroyed many shops, including the venerable Shahbandar cafe, a popular haven for writers. Poet Abdul Baqi Faidhullah said, "Those who did this are like savage machines intent on harvesting souls and killing all bright minds."
Burning papers hampered rescue efforts by restarting small blazes long into the night. The Shiite-dominated commercial district had been regarded as safe until recently, when a government-imposed curfew isolated the area. Half-a-dozen blasts have shaken central Baghdad since the Americans and Iraqis began a security push there three weeks ago.