An injured Iraqi man is taken to an ambulance after a parked car bomb exploded behind the al-Elwaya telephone centre in downtown Baghdad on Tuesday, April 15, 2008.
Young Iraqi children look through a hole caused by an airstrike in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Tuesday, April 15, 2008.
BAGHDAD -- Car bombs ripped through crowded areas in Baghdad and former insurgent strongholds to the north and west of the capital on Tuesday, killing nearly 60 people and breaking a recent lull in violence in the predominantly Sunni areas.Quote has been trimmed
The attacks were a deadly reminder of the threat posed by suspected Sunni insurgents even as clashes between Shiite militia fighters and U.S.-Iraqi forces continued elsewhere.
The first blast Tuesday occurred in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, when a car parked in front of a restaurant exploded just before noon across the street from the central courthouse and other government offices.
Many of the victims were people visiting the government offices, petition writers helping people with documents in stalls outside or the occupants of cars that were caught in the explosion as they passed through the area, witnesses said. Several cars and minibuses were set ablaze, while more than 10 shops and the restaurant were heavily damaged.
One survivor described a huge fire that sent black smoke billowing into the sky and left charred bodies inside their cars.
"I was on my way to the government office when a big explosion occurred nearby," said the witness, who would only identify himself by his nickname Abu Ali. "As I approached the site, I saw...