Three powerful car bombs went off near a bus station and hospital in central Baghdad killing at least 41 people Wednesday and wounded 85. Several people ran to the blast sites to search through charred buses and cars for bodies of friends and relatives.
A suicide car bomber targeting policemen detonated his vehicle outside the al-Nahda bus station in central Baghdad, the U.S. military said. A second car loaded with explosives detonated inside the station parking lot where buses line up to pick up passengers, police Maj. Thamir al-Gharawi said.
U.S. and Iraqi forces responded to the blast, which left several mutilated bodies strewn across the station parking lot. At least two buses were destroyed, leaving only seat frames inside a bare metal hull. Several weeping men hugged beside a young boy inside the open-air terminal.
One man searched through the charred buses for signs of his brother and a cousin who were both at the station in the morning.
Police Capt. Nabil Abdelqadir said the parked car bomb targeted buses that carry passengers to Amarah and Basra, Shiite-dominated cities in southern Iraq.
A second suicide bomber exploded his vehicle near the al-Kindi Hospital about a half-hour later as many of the wounded were arriving for treatment, police said. It was unclear if the hospital was targeted in the blast.
At least 15 vehicles, including three police cars, were destroyed in the attacks at the bus station, a major transit point for travelers heading outside the capital. Several vehicles were punctured with shrapnel marks, the AP reported.
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