54 killed by suicide bomber at Musayyib gas station

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Location of Musayyib (red)

At least 54 people died today when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a gas station near a mosque in Musayyib, about 60 km south of the Iraqi capital. Some 80 people are reported to have been injured.

Witnesses said a fuel tanker was slowly approaching the pumps at the station when the attacker ran towards it and detonated explosives strapped to his body. Police said the resulting huge blast destroyed a nearby apartment complex and damaged the mosque and some small businesses.

The gas station was located near the city-center. Iraqi gas stations normally include a number of small businesses selling tea, soft drinks and snacks where crowds of people often gather.

Mussayib, a religiously mixed town, lies in an area named the "triangle of death", due to the large number of kidnappings and killings of Shiite Muslims traveling between Baghdad and the Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.