BAGHDAD: A suicide car bomber blew himself up in a crowded market in oil-rich southern Basra on yesterday killing 28 people and wounding 62, the latest victims of Iraq's ceaseless violence.
Despite lingering disagreement among Iraq's fractious ethnic and sectarian parties, deputies said that Iraq's prime minister was poised to appoint ministers to run the army and police.
A total of at least 42 people died and dozens were wounded around Iraq. A total of 12 bodies, eight of them headless, were also discovered.
In Basra, the country's second biggest city, police Capt Mushtaq Kadhim said the suicide attacker blew himself in the late afternoon when many people were shopping. The blast left pools of blood around the square drenched in blood and several vehicles on fire.
It wasn't known who staged the attack, but Basra has seen growing violence and unrest recently, leading Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki last week to declare a monthlong state of emergency in the mainly Shiite city.
The attack came one day after Jordan-born terrorist mastermind Abu Musab Al Zarqawi called on Iraq's Sunni Arabs to kill Shi'ites. His Al Qaida in Iraq has claimed responsibility for some of the most horrific attacks in Iraq, including bombings that have killed more than 100 people.
Gunmen also ambushed a police checkpoint yesterrday, killing seven policemen and wounding five pedestrians, while six mortar rounds hit a central square, killing a child, police said