Although 3,200 additional troops have been deployed in Baghdad in an effort to assert control, violence continues to worsen. A double car bombing on Monday killed 88 people and injured 160. This does not bode well for a full-blown surge.
The first big attack on Monday came in the Haraj market, which sells second-hand clothing and DVDs, shortly after midday (0900 GMT). Columns of thick smoke immediately covered the area.
One unconfirmed account of the attacks said that a bomb in a parked car was followed seconds later by a suicide bomber ploughing his car into the terrified crowd.
At least 12 vehicles were set ablaze, said a photographer for the AFP news agency at the scene.
He said there were so many victims that the wounded were piled up alongside the dead on wooden market carts.
Bodies could be seen covered in blue sheeting outside a Baghdad mortuary, while doctors at al-Kindi Hospital worked frantically to save the lives of the badly injured.
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