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Baghdad Bomb Kills At Least 30, Injures 60


A roadside bomb killed at least 30 people and injured 60 others in eastern Baghdad. The blast ripped through a crowded marketplace in the Shi'ite dominated Sadr City neighborhood.

The bomb detonated at the start of the business day. Iraqi officials say the explosives were likely hidden inside a roadside garbage bin.

Witnesses say most of the victims were day-laborers who typically congregate nearby looking for part-time work.

"We are just workers," said one witness. "We sell tea or work for a little money. We are not criminals, why would they kill us?"

Most of Sadr City's three-million residents are Shi'ite Muslims and the district is largely controlled by anti-american Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's powerful militia.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but local authorities say they suspect Sunni Muslim extremists.

Meanwhile, U.S. forces in Sadr City continue their search for an Iraq-American soldier missing for at least seven days and believed kidnapped.

Elsewhere in the capital, Saddam Hussein's genocide trial reconvened after a 10-day break. But the trial was immediately thrown off course when Saddam's chief lawyer said he was withdrawing from the case and left the courtroom.

The protest followed a court refusal to allow Saddam's foreign lawyers to attend the trial without prior permission.

The judge quickly appointed a new attorney to head the former dictator's defense. Hussein and six co-defendants are accused of crimes against humanity for the brutal suppression of Iraqi Kurds in 1988.

Prosecutors say more than 180,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed during the so-called Anfal campaign.

A verdict in the case is expected on November 5.

Saturday, Saddam's chief lawyer warned a guilty verdict followed by his execution could provoke all out civil war in Iraq and widespread violence throughout the Middle East.

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