BAGHDAD (AFP) – At least 48 people, many of them women and children, have been killed in a car bomb blast and an assault by gunmen in a market in the town of Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad.
The sources said 46 others were wounded in the broad daylight attacks.
“There was first a car bomb explosion in the market which was followed by armed men shooting randomly on civilians and on shops in the market,” an interior ministry source said Monday.
The sources said gunmen arrived in several cars and opened fire as they drove through the market street.
Medics at Baghdad’s Yarmuk hospital said they had received some of the dead and wounded from the attack in Mahmudiyah, 30 kilometres (20 miles) from Baghdad.
An Iraqi army officer said the security forces had cordoned off the area and arrested two of the gunmen.
In the past few weeks, rebels have launched major attacks on markets across the country, causing heavy civilian casualties, with many appearing to be sectarian in nature.