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At least 160 die in Iraq al-Qaida bombings
Updated: 2005-09-15 07:14

BAGHDAD, Iraq - More than a dozen highly coordinated bombings ripped through Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 160 people and wounding 570 in the capital's bloodiest day since the end of major combat. Many of the victims were day laborers lured by a suicide attacker posing as an employer. AP reported.

Iraqis gather at an explosion site in central Baghdad, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005.
Iraqis gather at an explosion site in central Baghdad, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005. [Reuters]
Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attacks in the name of Sunni insurgents, saying it was a retaliation for the rout of militants at a base close to the Syrian border.

The spasm of violence terrorized the capital for more than nine hours. The first attack, at 6:30 a.m., was the deadliest: a suicide car blast which tore through the predominantly Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Kazimiyah.

In what was believed to be a new tactic, the bomber set off the explosive after calling the construction and other workers to his small van and enticing them with promises of employment, a witness said. At least 112 people were killed and more than 200 were wounded, according to Health Ministry officials. Twisted hulks of vehicles blocked the bloodstained main street in Kazimiyah's Oruba Square.

Al-Qaida's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, purportedly declared "all-out war" on Shiites, Iraqi troops and the government in an audiotape posted Wednesday on an Internet site known for carrying extremist Islamic content.
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