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THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ: A WEAKENED MAHDI ARMY

25 killed in 2 bombings near cafes in Baghdad

November 10, 2008|Tina Susman | Susman is a Times staff writer.

BAGHDAD — At least two blasts targeting a row of busy cafes and businesses in a Shiite section of northeastern Baghdad early today killed at least 25 people, police said.

It was one of the worst attacks in the capital in several weeks and came as the Iraqi government takes more responsibility for security from U.S. forces.

As part of this shift, the Iraqi government later today was scheduled to conduct its first payday for the mainly Sunni paramilitary groups known as the Sons of Iraq, who are credited with helping to calm the country. Until now, the U.S. military has paid members of the Sons of Iraq, who stand guard at checkpoints alongside U.S. and Iraqi forces.

The first blast in Kasra was caused by a car bomb that blew up about 100 feet from a cluster of restaurants. When people gathered at the site of the bombing, a suicide attacker wearing an explosives belt ran into the crowd.

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tina.susman@latimes.com

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