13 killed, nearly 60 wounded as bomb strikes Baghdad pet market

A bomb exploded in a pet market in central Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 13 people and wounding nearly 60, Iraqi police said, shattering the festive atmosphere as people strolled past the animal stalls. It was the first attack against the popular weekly al-Ghazl bazaar since a US-Iraqi security plan aimed at quelling spiraling violence in the capital and surrounding areas began in mid-February, underscoring warnings by senior American commanders that extremists still pose a threat to Iraq's fragile security despite the downturn in violence. The explosives were hidden in a box that is commonly used to carry small animals, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.