Minibus explodes in Baghdad market

July 30, 2007

The soccer win seemed briefly to unite Iraqis of all religious and political affiliations. In what's described as the biggest street demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein, joyous fans celebrated across the country in an outpouring of national pride. The team, known as the Lions of Mesopotamia, defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 at the Asian games in Jakarta. For security reasons, the team does not play in Iraq. Players earn their living abroad, including the team captain and goal scorer, Younis Mahmoud, a Sunni Arab who says he is too scared to come home.

Today's bombing happened just hours after authorities had lifted a ban on all vehicles in Baghdad and other major cities. The ban had been imposed in an attempt to prevent violence before and after the game. A minibus blew up around midday outside a market and bus depot near Baghdad's Tarayan square. The bus was one of several waiting to take passengers to mostly Shia neighborhoods.

APTN cameras captured the euphoria of the players and cheering Iraqis Sunday, as well as the destruction that followed Monday.

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The soccer win seemed briefly to unite Iraqis of all religious and political affiliations. In what's described as the biggest street demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein, joyous fans celebrated across the country in an outpouring of national pride. The team, known as the Lions of Mesopotamia, defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 at the Asian games in Jakarta. For security reasons, the team does not play in Iraq. Players earn their living abroad, including the team captain and goal scorer, Younis Mahmoud, a Sunni Arab who says he is too scared to come home.

Today's bombing happened just hours after authorities had lifted a ban on all vehicles in Baghdad and other major cities. The ban had been imposed in an attempt to prevent violence before and after the game. A minibus blew up around midday outside a market and bus depot near Baghdad's Tarayan square. The bus was one of several waiting to take passengers to mostly Shia neighborhoods.

APTN cameras captured the euphoria of the players and cheering Iraqis Sunday, as well as the destruction that followed Monday.



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