Sovereignty Day

Car Bomb Dims Iraqi Celebration

Although Iraqis were celebrating the newly anointed "National Sovereignty Day" on the streets of Baghdad Monday night, their triumphant moods were tarnished by the explosion of a car bomb Tuesday morning in a crowded Kirkuk vegetable and poultry market that left at least 27 people dead and an estimated 40 wounded—a chilling reminder of the challenges still facing the new Iraqi government. During a nationally televised address, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki assured Iraqis that the government was in control: "Those who think that Iraqis are not able to protect their country and that the withdrawal of foreign forces will create a security vacuum are committing a big mistake," he said. The bombings are the latest in a series that began on June 20th, leaving a total of 250 dead.