May 20, 2009 / 7:07 PM / 10 years ago

Baghdad bomb toll rises to 35 killed, 72 wounded

BAGHDAD, May 20 (Reuters) - A parked car bomb ripped through a poor Shi’ite area of northwest Baghdad on Wednesday, killing 35 people and wounding 72 others near a popular restaurant, police said.

Shula in northwest Baghdad was also targeted by bombers on Dec. 25 last year, killing four people.

The last large-scale bomb attack in Iraq was on April 29, when 51 people were killed in twin car bomb attacks in the Shi’ite Sadr City district of Baghdad.

Security has broadly improved in Iraq since last year, but a rash of bombings in April made it the deadliest month for civilians since November.

The recent attacks raises questions about whether Iraq can avoid sliding back into greater bloodshed as an untested military prepares to take greater security responsibility and U.S. troops prepare for a full withdrawal by the end of 2011.

Iraqi security forces on Monday aired a video tape of a what they said was the captured leader of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq, an al Qaeda-linked organisation blamed for years of bloodshed in the country, but the group has denied the claim. (Writing by Mohammed Abbas: Editing by Matthew Jones)

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