Four days after al-Qaida in Iraq declared all-out war on the Shiite majority, more than 250 people have been killed, 30 of them by a car bomb Saturday outside a produce market in a poor Shiite suburb east of Baghdad. The blast underlined one of the bloodiest weeks since the U.S.-led invasion. In all, at least 52 people were killed or found dead throughout the country Saturday, victims of mounting sectarian killings promised by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of the terrorist organization and a moving force behind the Sunni-dominated insurgency.
After a suicide car bomber exploded his vehicle Wednesday in the midst of assembled day laborers in a largely Shiite neighborhood in north Baghdad, an audio tape posted on the Internet and claiming to be from al-Zarqawi announced "all-out war against Shiites everywhere. Beware, there will be no mercy." The death toll from at least 14 bombings Wednesday was 167, marking the worst day of violence in the capital since U.S. troops invaded and overthrew Saddam Hussein 2Ѕ years ago. In Saturday's remote-controlled car bombing, Interior Ministry police Maj. Falah al-Mhamadawi said the vehicle was parked in front of fruit and vegetable stands in the market at Nahrawan, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Baghdad, reported AP.