At least 50 killed in Iraq violence

July 3, 2012 at 1:19 PM
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BAGHDAD, July 3 (UPI) -- At least 40 people, including a 6-year-old boy, were killed in the southern Iraq city of Diwaniyah when explosives hidden amid watermelons in a truck exploded.

The blast, which occurred near the city's main fish and vegetable market, was one of several attacks that killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 100 in central and southern Iraq Tuesday, The New York Times reported.

Six people were killed and more than 25 wounded in Karbala, a holy Shiite city in the south, by two homemade bombs that had been attached to vehicles and detonated in a vegetable market. Explosions killed two people and wounded more than 15 in Taji, north of Baghdad, and near Baquba, in Diyala Province, a soldier and a policeman were killed by gunmen and the bodies of two people who had been shot in the head were found in a farmer's field, a police official said.

At the Diwaniyah market, the Times said, officials had reopened the streets to vehicles less than five months ago after keeping them closed for years for security reasons, and the market was crowded with morning shoppers at the time of the explosion.

The attacks come amid a surge in violence in Iraq that began last month. The Times cited U.N. statistics showing more Iraqis -- civilians and security forces -- have died in attacks in the first five months of 2012 than in the same period last year.

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