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Bombs Target Shi'ite Mosques in Baghdad


A series of bomb blasts tore through crowds of Shi'ite worshippers as they left mosques after Friday prayers in Baghdad, killing at least 28 people and wounding more than 130. Shi'ite political leaders are accusing the government of negligence in protecting them.

Television images showed young men picking through the debris of one bloody explosion at the Shurufi Mosque in the Baghdad suburb of al Shaab. Prayer carpets were shredded and tattered, the ground was spattered with blood, and some of the rubble continued to smolder.

One young man said that an officer came with two soldiers to search the area just before the explosion. He says they searched one car, but not the one that later exploded.

A young woman, who identified herself as a supporter of militant Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said the government was doing a poor job of protecting her area.

She shouts that someone must be held accountable in every area for what's going on.

Falah Shanshal, a member of the Iraqi parliament from the Sadr bloc also demanded accountability.

He says, "We demand the Iraqi government take responsibility by purging the security and defense establishments and punishing the criminals." He called for an investigation.

Separate explosions in the Baghdad districts of Zafaraniyah, Kamaliya and al Elam left several dead and over a dozen wounded. Back to back explosions near Diyala Bridge, south of Baghdad killed and wounded more than a dozen others.

The most serious and bloody bombings in recent months have targeted Shi'ite Muslim neighborhoods, leading to fears that al Qaida or other Sunni extremists may be trying to reignite sectarian strife.

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