July 17, 2006 -- Up to 55 people are reported to have been killed and dozens more wounded in an attack near a crowded market in Al-Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad.
There are conflicting accounts from officials about the events.
In Baghdad, police and Interior Ministry sources say a car bomb devastated a market in the city. But in the town itself, a police commander says gunmen rampaged through the market.
The attack comes one day after a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a cafe packed with Shi'a in northern Iraq, killing at least 23 people.
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SUNNI, SHI'A: Iraq is riven along sectarian lines, faults that frequently produce violent clashes and are a constant source of tension. Sectarian concerns drive much of Iraqi politics and are the main threat to the country's fragile security environment.
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