Baghdad Blast Kills Dozens in Shiite Neigborhood

A Baghdad blast has killed 32 people in a Shiite neighborhood after a suicide bomber set off explosives near a funeral procession.

The bomber used a car packed with explosives to set off a blast in the Shiite neighborhood of Zafaraniyah in Baghdad, Friday morning, according to

In total 65 people were wounded, including 16 police. Many of the people killed in the blast belonged to the funeral procession of someone who had been killed the day before.

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Talib Bashir was one of the men in the procession of about 500, but left to take his child home moments before the blast. He told the AP that several stores, cars and an ambulance were engulfed in flames for many hours.

"I saw smoke coming from a parked car that exploded," Bashir said. "The fire lasted for a long time."

A grocery store owner named Salam Hussein was watching the funeral procession when the blast went off, injuring one of his employees, according to the AP.

"It was a huge explosion," Hussein said. He said that after the blast he could see cars on fire and human flesh scattered everywhere. He added that there were several mutilated bodies in a pool of blood surrounding the spot where the car was exploded.

The blast from the suicide bomber also caused damaged to the Zafaraniyah General Hospital and injured a nurse and four patients.

The Friday bombing was the second deadliest attack in Baghdad for the year. On Jan. 14, over 50 people were killed by a bomb that exploded on a procession of Shiite pilgrims heading towards a Sunni town in southern Iraq.

The elevated violence the Iraq, after the withdrawal of the U.S. military, suggests a sectarian conflict in the Muslim community of Iraq. Attacks have targeted the majority Shiite population in an attempt to undermine the Shiite-led government and its ability to protect Iraqis, according to the AP.

On Thursday, 17 people were killed in bombings around Iraq, including citizens of the two must Sunni districts, indicating retaliation for previous Shiite attacks.

Just moments after the Friday attack, two police officers were killed by gunmen at a checkpoint in Zafaraniyah. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

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