A Month of Attacks Focused on Iraqi Markets

An Iraqi woman next to a relative's coffin. Credit: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images. i i

An Iraqi woman mourns next to the coffin of a relative in Baghdad on Feb. 4, 2007, one day after a suicide bomber blew up his Mercedes truck in central Baghdad's al-Sadriya district. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images
An Iraqi woman next to a relative's coffin. Credit: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images.

An Iraqi woman mourns next to the coffin of a relative in Baghdad on Feb. 4, 2007, one day after a suicide bomber blew up his Mercedes truck in central Baghdad's al-Sadriya district.

Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images
Graphic of 2006 Iraqi deaths as counted by the U.N. Credit: NPR. i i

The United Nations says that more than 34,000 Iraqi civilians died violent deaths in 2006. The U.N. hasn't released any such figures for 2007. hide caption

itoggle caption
Graphic of 2006 Iraqi deaths as counted by the U.N. Credit: NPR.

The United Nations says that more than 34,000 Iraqi civilians died violent deaths in 2006. The U.N. hasn't released any such figures for 2007.

Iraqis inspect the destruction left by a suicide bombing. Credit: ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images. i i

Iraqis inspect the destruction left by a suicide bombing on Feb. 3, 2007 in central Baghdad's al-Sadriya district. Ali al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ali al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images
Iraqis inspect the destruction left by a suicide bombing. Credit: ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images.

Iraqis inspect the destruction left by a suicide bombing on Feb. 3, 2007 in central Baghdad's al-Sadriya district.

Ali al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images

Deadly bombings occur nearly every day in Baghdad, or elsewhere in Iraq. In the month of February, attacks continued to focus on the markets that are at the center of Iraqi life. They are prime targets for an insurgency seeking to disrupt the rhythms of life.

Here is a list of major attacks on markets that took place in the month of February:

  • Feb. 1: Bombings south of Baghdad killed as many as 73 people at an outdoor market.
  • Feb. 3: A bombing at the Jamila Food Market killed an estimated 135 people.
  • Feb. 8: South of Baghdad, a car bomb killed about 15 people at a meat market. The same day, a suicide bomber struck a bakery in an upscale Baghdad neighborhood.

Also that day, a new American general took over command of American forces in Iraq. Gen. David Petraeus arrived with a mandate to restore security to the capital. He'd been on the job just a matter of days when a series of explosions killed dozens at markets in central Baghdad.

  • Feb. 14: President Bush laid out a definition of success in Iraq as "a society in which there is relative peace." That same day a car bomb killed two people at a Baghdad market.
  • Feb. 17: Car bombs killed several people in the city of Kirkuk. Then a car bomb struck a Baghdad vegetable market.
  • Feb. 28: A market bombing killed 10 more people.

Saleem Amer, an Iraqi NPR employee in Baghdad, says that the constant threat of bombing has changed the way people live.

"I used to go every day to shop for my family," Amer said. "But now ... I minimize everything. I have one time every week to go outside and shop."

Because of the danger in traveling to Baghdad's large markets, Ameer says that some neighborhood merchants have started offering to procure items for locals and deliver them home.

The current U.S.-Iraqi security initiative is paying dividends in Amer's neighborhood. He said that U.S. forces went house-to-house Wednesday in a search for Mahdi Army militia members. The action netted a number of people Amer described as "bad guys."

"Today we have more checkpoints by the U.S. soldiers ... and everybody is so happy in the neighborhood," Amer said.

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