Bombs kill at least 8 people in Iraqi market

Bombs hidden in plastic bags near a falafel stand exploded at a market in a mainly Shiite area in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least eight civilians and wounding 19, Iraqi officials said. It was the latest in a series of bombings targeting Shiites and minorities in the capital and northern Iraq. The US military has said insurgents are trying to re-ignite sectarian bloodshed that pushed the country to the brink of civil war but Shiites so far have shown restraint. The bags packed with explosives were left among a pile of garbage and exploded shortly before 8 p.m. as the district was crowded with people enjoying the evening. Several nearby stores were also damaged, according to police and hospital officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information. The spike in violence follows the June 30 withdrawal of American troops from urban areas, heightening concerns about the ability of Iraqi forces to protect the people. Political tensions have also risen further as the country prepares for national elections scheduled for January.