50 innocent dead in Baghdad blast

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Posted by Sadie from ? ( on Friday, March 28, 2003 at 10:20PM :

'Many dead' in Baghdad blast (excerpts)
BBC world news
Saturday, 29 March, 2003

Reports say many of the casualties were children

At least 50 civilians are believed to have been killed during an air raid on a Baghdad market, Iraqi authorities say.

Graphic television pictures showed people scrabbling through rubble to reach the dead and injured amid the wreckage of al-Nasser market in the Shula residential area of the city.

Reports of the blast came as coalition forces renewed night-time bombing across the Iraqi capital and the northern city of Mosul.

Dr Osama Sakhari from al-Noor Hospital near the market told Reuters news agency he had counted 55 people killed and more than 47 wounded from Friday's attack. He said one baby had died in his arms.

Iraq's Information Minister Mohammed Saeed Sahaf told al-Hayat-LBC television that 58 people were dead and he expected the death toll to rise.

Arabic broadcasters in Qatar and Abu Dhabi showed pictures of what they said were victims of the attack - mainly women, children and old people - as well as shots of mothers slapping themselves in grief.


A Reuters correspondent who visited the scene said most of the one-storey shops in the area were destroyed.

Most of the ground was covered by blood and broken glass and there was a crater about two metres (six feet) wide and half a metre deep.

One man sobbed for his five-year-old son killed while playing near the vegetable market.

"After this crime, I wish I could see [US President George W] Bush in order to cut him to pieces with my teeth," he said.

Another man, Eyad Abadi, told the news agency: "We heard a plane flying over us. We saw a rocket coming in our direction and then we heard the explosion."

Abu Dhabi television said the devastation may have been caused by a US cruise missile.

-- Sadie
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