Sunni-Shi’ite Jihad Update from AP:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Bombs exploded Sunday in Baghdad and the northern oil center of Kirkuk, killing more than 60 people and dramatically escalating tension as the prime minister left for Washington for talks on reversing the country’s slide toward civil
The blasts occurred as Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition mounted a major crackdown on the country’s most feared Shiite militia, the Mahdi Army, blamed by Sunnis for many of the sectarian kidnappings and killings that threaten to tear the country apart.
The Baghdad bombing occurred Sunday when a suicide driver detonated a minivan in the Mahdi Army stronghold of Sadr City at the entrance to the Jameelah market, which was packed with shoppers and vendors on the first day of the Iraqi workweek.
An Iraqi army statement said 34 people were killed and 73 were wounded. Eight more people were killed and 20 wounded when a second bomb exploded two hours later at a municipal government building in Sadr City, the Iraqi army said.
In Kirkuk, a car bomb detonated at midday near a courthouse in the city market district, killing 20 and wounding more than 150, according to police Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qadir. It was the fourth car bombing this month in Kirkuk, where tensions are rising among Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen for control of the area’s vast oil