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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bomb Blast Kills 54 in Iraq

ANKARA, Turkey -- A powerful car bomb exploded in a crowded market street in the Kurdish-controlled Iraqi city of Zakho on Monday, killing at least 54 people and wounding up to 80 more, Western and Turkish officials said.

"The blast occurred at the part of Zakho called the financial district at 8:18 a.m.," U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Christopher Leist said from Incirlik air base, home to the Western allied force protecting Kurds in northern Iraq from a possible attack by Baghdad.

"At least 54 people are dead, and the death toll could rise.

"Up to 80 people are injured, 15 seriously," he said.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blast.

Past bombings have been blamed by local Kurdish groups on Baghdad, which claims sovereignty over the area.