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41 KILLED IN SADR CITY, BAGHDAD

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Three car bombs have exploded, on Wednesday 04/29/2009 at about 16:30, in quick succession in the Shiaa district of Sadr City, the stronghold of the Shiaa Cleric Moqtada Sadr, in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing at least 41 people, police say (see also – Sadr City 04.06.08 ).

Local hospitals said more than 70 people were wounded in the blasts, which occurred in busy markets in the impoverished area.  Suicide bombings last week killed at least 150 people in just two days (see – Adhamiya 04.24.09).  The attacks occurred despite the arrest of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

Correspondents say the violence has raised concerns that Iraq could slide back into sectarian conflict.

However, senior Iraqi leaders have played down the recent spate of attacks. They say they violence will not affect plans for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi cities by the end of June, and from the rest of the country by 2011 (see – IRAQ-US DEAL)

The bombings are the latest in a recent upsurge of attacks, all directed against busy Shiaa areas or holy places.

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