Dozens killed in twin Baghdad bombings

At least 82 people were killed and 200 injured in two bombings that hit Baghdad around midnight Saturday, nearly all of them in a blast targeting a busy shopping area as they celebrated Ramadan, police and medical sources said Sunday.

A refrigerator truck packed with explosives blew up in Karrada in central Baghdad, killing 80 people and injuring at least 200. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, in a statement circulated online by supporters of the ultra-hard line Sunni group. It said the blast was a suicide bombing. Karrada was busy at the time as Iraqis eat out late during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends next week. Police said the toll could rise as more bodies could be lying under the rubble of devastated buildings.

The aftermath of a suicide car bomb attack in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. [photo by Khalid al Mousily/Reuters]
The aftermath of a suicide car bomb attack in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. [photo by Khalid al Mousily/Reuters]

The bombing is the deadliest in the country since Iraqi forces last month dislodged Islamic State militants from Fallujah, their stronghold just west of the capital that had served as a launch pad for such attacks.

A video posted on social media showed people throwing pavement stones at the SUV convoy of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Karrada, a largely Shi’ite area with a small Christian community, venting their anger at the inability of the security forces to protect the area. Another video posted on social media showed a large blaze in the main street of Karrada after the blast. Reuters TV footage taken in the morning showed at least four buildings severely damaged or partly collapsed.

A roadside explosive device also blew up around midnight in a market in al-Shaab, a popular Shi’ite district in the north of the capital, leaving at least two killed, police and medical sources said.

Update 3/7/2016 17:00 GMT — Death toll rises to 131, Daesh claims responsibility

The death toll from the bomb attack in Karrala has risen to 131, hospital and police sources have told Al Jazeera, while another 200 people were wounded.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based monitoring service.

Update 4/7/2016 10:00 GMT — Death toll rises to 213

The death toll from the twin bomb attacks in Baghdad early on Sunday has risen to 213, security and medical officials have told AFP.

Update 8/7/2016 05:00 GMT — Death toll rises to 292

The death toll from Sunday’s devastating Daesh twin bomb attacks in Baghdad has risen to 292 after dozens more of the wounded succumbed to their injuries, Iraqi officials said Thursday. A further 200 people were injured in the attack, according to Ahmed Al-Redaini, spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Health.

Source: Reuters/Al Jazeera/AFP/Syria & Iraq News

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