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U.S. military blames Iran for Baghdad's old market bombing
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11:24, November 25, 2007

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The U.S. military on Saturday blamed the Iranian-backed Shiite militant groups for Friday's bomb attack in a Baghdad old market that killed dozens of people.

An explosive charge, hidden in a box containing birds, detonated around 9:00 a.m. (0600 GMT) Friday in the Ghazil market in central Baghdad, killing 13 people and wounding 57 others, an Interior Ministry source said.

U.S. military spokesman Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said Saturday that "in raids overnight, Iraqi and coalition forces were able to identify and detain four members of a militia extremist group in Baghdad."

Based on confessions of the detainees and intelligence reports, Smith told reporters in a news conference that "this attack was work of an Iranian-backed special groups cell operating here in Baghdad."

Smith said the group tried to make the attack similar to the attacks committed by al-Qaida network. "The group's purpose was to make it appear al-Qaida was responsible for this attack."

"Despite killing innocent Shiites and Sunnis, the special groups' aim was to demonstrate to Baghdadis the need for militia groups to continue providing for their security," Smith added.

Friday's blast damaged dozens of shops, stalls and old buildings in the market, where dozens of free sellers lined with shops selling live birds, fish and animals, especially on Friday when other markets closed for the Muslim day of rest.

Source: Xinhua

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