Blast in Baghdad: 29 killed

Violence killed at least 29 people Sunday, including three American soldiers, and mortar fire rumbled through the heart of Baghdad after sundown despite stringent security measures imposed after an explosion of sectarian violence.

A ban on driving in Baghdad and its suburbs helped prevent major attacks during daylight Sunday, but after nightfall explosions thundered through the city as mortar shells slammed into a Shiite quarter in southwestern Baghdad, killing 16 people and wounding 53, police said.

Mortar fire also hit a Shiite area on the capital's east side, killing three people and injuring six, police reported.

Nevertheless, officials announced they would let vehicles back on the streets at 6 a.m. Monday — in part because shops were running out of food and other basics. Gasoline stations were closed, and people were unable to go to work Sunday, a work day in this Muslim country.

The vehicle ban, which followed a curfew that kept everyone in the Baghdad region inside for two days, was part of emergency measures imposed after Wednesday's bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra triggered a wave of reprisal attacks on Sunni mosques and clerics, pushing Iraq to the blink of civil war, reports the AP.

I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team