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Bombs in Iraq Kill 48


A village near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul was pulverized from the explosion of two powerful truck bombs, killing dozens and trapping many others under the rubble. And at least three other major explosions targeted mostly Shi'ite areas of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Ambulances ferried victims to hospitals in Mosul on Monday after the blasts in the Kurdish village of Khazna, about 20 kilometers away. At least 28 people were killed and more than 150 wounded.

Women wailed and men sobbed as rescue workers used their hands to dig through piles of cinder blocks, trying to pull victims from under the rubble.

Officials say the bombs destroyed about 35 houses in Khazna. The village is home to Turkomen and Shabak, a cultural and ethnic minority with links to both Kurds and Arabs.

Baghdad TV showed images from the explosion of two large tanker-trucks filled with TNT. The TV also showed images of several water-filled craters caused by the blasts.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Red Crescent, Mohammed Kuzai, says his organization was busy after the blast.

He says that the Iraqi Red Crescent branch in Mosul took part in evacuating the victims of the [Khazna] explosions, but that it was difficult to have an exact casualty count yet because the number of dead [was likely to] rise.

A series of early-morning explosions in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, mainly targeted construction workers. Toppled cement mixers could be seen amid the rubble as workers swept up the debris from the explosions at one building site.

Police say the multiple bombings killed at least 20 people and wounded 100 Monday. Sixteen people were killed in the deadliest attack -- two bomb blasts that targeted day laborers as they gathered to find work.

An eyewitness, Alaa Juar, says average workers were targeted.

He says a bomb was placed in a cement bag in the street near an area where the laborers had gathered for work in the Amil neighborhood.

Most of the Baghdad explosions took place in predominantly Shi'ite neighborhoods. A series of explosions also struck mainly Shi'ite targets, Friday.

Iraqi Defense Minister Abdal Qader Jassem al Obeidi said recently the security situation in Iraq had improved, despite a "handful of terror attacks, which occur from time to time."

The Iraqi government ordered the removal of blast walls from around Baghdad last week in a measure apparently intended to signal the security situation in the capital has improved.
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