A Kia truck with explosives hidden in its cargo of watermelons exploded on Tuesday in Diwaniyah, a largely Shiite city in southern Iraq, leaving at least 40 people dead, including a 6-year-old boy, local officials said. It was the deadliest in a string of attacks on Tuesday in central and southern Iraq.
The truck bomb in Diwaniyah was detonated near the city’s main fish and vegetable market, where local officials had reopened the streets to vehicles less than five months ago after keeping them closed for years over security concerns. The area was crowded with morning shoppers at the time of the explosion.
“What did we do wrong?” said Saad Abbas, a teacher who awoke later in a local hospital, where he was being treated for wounds to the head and chest. “I was shopping for my family, and I felt a huge explosion. I fell to the ground, and the next thing I know I am in the hospital.”