Two blasts have ripped through busy market areas in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing at least 23 people and injuring 61 others. The explosions targeted the Karrada and Sha’ab districts.
The explosion in Karrada killed at least 23 people and injured 45 others.
Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan confirmed that the first attack was a car bomb.
Eyewitnesses said on Twitter that many shops burned down in the explosion. There are also fears the number of casualties could grow.
Karrada, the upper middle class district of the Iraqi capital, is mostly inhabited by Shia but also has quite a large Christian minority. The area gets really busy after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.
Shortly after the explosion hit Karrada, eyewitnesses said there was a second blast that targeted the Shaab neighborhood, located in the northern part of the city.
AP said that at least five people were killed in this explosion and another 16 were injured. Meanwhile, Sky News Arabia said a suspected homemade explosive device was used to hit a market.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack in Karrada, Baghdad, BNO News reported.
The tactics also resemble Islamic State’s signature, as the terrorists frequently choose Shia-populated civilian areas in the capital as their targets.
Iraqi security officials are attempting to restore control amid the state of panic existing following the attacks, Altaf Ahmad, a local journalist, told RT.
“Major roads leading to the venue of the explosion [in Karrada] have been cut off. We know that the car bomb that went off in the area that is known to be crowded at this time. After sunset, after the break of fast during the holy month of Ramadan many people start to go out . . . We are expecting that the number could rise to 100 casualties,” Ahmad said.
Meanwhile, Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at Pan-African News Wire, said the pattern of bombing in Baghdad reminded of what happened in Istanbul.
“There is some affirmation that Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. This follows a pattern for the last week with the attack in Istanbul. The sectarian divisions inside the country have exacerbated and there’s been a reaction on both sides,” Azikiwe told RT.
He also noted that Islamic State suffered tremendous losses over the last several months and could be pursuing such attacks in order to avenge their retreat.
“They moved to other geopolitical regions, in Libya, for example, in western part of the country. A lot of these attacks are done for propaganda reasons,” he added. “[These attacks] definitely appear to be coordinated.”
Earlier this week, a suicide attack west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killed at least 12 people and injured another 32. An attacker wearing a suicide vest targeted a Sunni mosque in Abu Ghraib.
Islamic State recently suffered ground losses, as it was pushed out of Fallujah by Iraqi forces. However, the terrorist group still controls Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, located in northern Iraq.
Source: Daily News