Eleven killed I Iraq car bomb blast

A car bomb has exploded in a Shiite city south of Baghdad, killing 11 people, Iraqi officials said.

Police and hospital officials said the attack happened near a tent where Shiite Muslims were gathered.

They said 40 people were wounded in the blast.

The bomb went off around sundown, the time of the ceremonial breaking of the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

Khalil Ali, a nearby resident, said he was about to leave his house when he heard a big explosion.

“Everybody rushed to the blast area. I saw the tent on fire and bodies... scattered all over the place. The scene was horrific,” he said. “Nobody here expected an attack like this. The security measures were light because we thought that our area is safe and free of violence.”

The blast brought to at least 19 the number of people killed in Iraq on Wednesday.

Hours earlier, gunmen shot dead eight members of a family inside their house north of Baghdad.

Police said the assailants broke into the home of a well-known lawyer in the city of Beiji, 150 miles north of the capital. They killed him, his wife, his five sons and a relative. Police said they did not know the motive.

A health official in the city’s hospital confirmed the casualty figures.

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