As the three fiery explosions sent up huge plumes of black smoke up over northeastern Baghdad, and left streets covered with burning bodies and blood, angry residents and armed Shiite militiamen flooded the streets, hurling curses at Sunni Muslims and firing weapons into the air.

Sadr City is the home of the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to radical anti-American Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Ambulances raced to burning wooden fruit and vegetables stalls in Jamila market to rescue dozens of wounded people. Rescue workers also removed burned bodies from mangled cars and minibuses and took them away on wheeled carts. But many other corpses of adults and children remained in the streets.

Shortly after the attack, Mahdi Army militiamen deployed around the area, setting up checkpoints and roadblocks in the area to keep all strangers away.

The government imposed a curfew on Baghdad beginning at 8pm yesterday, saying that all people and vehicles must stay off the streets of the city until further notice.