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Car Bomb in Baghdad Market Kills 51 People


Iraqi officials say a car bomb has killed 51 people and wounded 75 others at a market in a mainly Shi'ite area of Baghdad.

Tuesday's bombing in the Hurriyah district of western Baghdad was the deadliest in the Iraqi capital in more than three months.

The car bomb triggered a fire that engulfed a multi-story building containing shops and apartments. Many of the victims were trapped in that building.

Baghdad had been relatively calm since May 11, when U.S. and Iraqi forces began observing a truce with Shi'ite militants that ended weeks of fighting.

In another attack Tuesday, an Iraqi television news reporter, Muhieddin Abdul-Hamid was shot dead near his home in the northern city of Mosul.

Also, Iraq's parliament says it will start holding its sessions outside the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad, starting September first. The planned move is in response to what U.S. and Iraqi officials say are general improvements in security.

Deputy speaker Khalid al-Attiyah says the parliament will return to the National Assembly building, where lawmakers met during Saddam Hussein's rule.

Elsewhere, Iraqi officials say insurgents in the southern province of Maysan have handed over large numbers of weapons ahead of a crackdown by Iraqi security forces.

Iraq's government has ordered insurgents in Maysan to surrender their weapons by Thursday, when Iraqi forces are expected to start operations to demilitarize the province.

In other developments, the U.S. military says it killed four al-Qaida militants Tuesday in a raid on a suspected bombing cell in Mosul.

Also Tuesday, a car bomb exploded outside a police headquarters in the town of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, killing one policeman and wounding 19 other people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.