A series of bombings blamed on al-Qaeda in Iraq tore through market areas in Baghdad and outside the capital on Tuesday, killing nearly 60 people and shattering weeks of relative calm in Sunni-dominated areas. The bloodshed struck directly at United States claims that the insurgents' power is waning.
A suicide truck bomber struck a market in a predominantly Shi'ite area of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 135 people and wounding scores among the crowd buying food for evening meals, the most devastating strike in the capital in more than two months. The late-afternoon explosion was the latest in a series of attacks against mainly Shi'ite commercial targets in the capital.
An explosion outside a Baghdad university as students were heading home for the day killed at least 65 people on Tuesday in the deadliest of several attacks on predominantly Shi'ite areas. The attack came on a day the United Nations said more than 34 000 Iraqi civilians died last year in sectarian violence.
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan joined three African leaders on Friday to welcome a -million commitment by six United States-based foundations to support universities in seven countries, calling it a concrete example of the needs being discussed by world leaders at the UN World Summit in New York.