Good thing al-Maliki asserted his independence from the Americans and lifted his blockade, eh? By Sameer N. Yacoub for Associated Press, :
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A motorcycle rigged with explosives blew up Thursday in a crowded market in Baghdad’s Shiite Sadr City district, killing at least seven people and wounding 45, police said.
It was the first bombing in Sadr City since Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the lifting Tuesday of a weeklong security blockade on the district.
Meanwhile, at least 119 Iraqi policemen were killed in shootings, abductions and bomb attacks last month, the Interior Ministry said Thursday, underscoring the toll Iraq’s relentless violence is inflicting on the poorly trained and underequipped force.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on a trip to France that it would take his country two or three years to set up its own security forces and send U.S.-led troops home.
Sadr City is a stronghold of the Mahdi Army militia, which is loyal to radical anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said the explosives went off at around 4 p.m. in the Mereidi market, one of the neighborhood’s most popular commercial centers.
At least seven people were killed and 45 wounded, some seriously, police Capt. Mohammed Ismail said.