- 80 were dead while 160 others were injured in two blasts in Iraq
- Islamic State claimed accountability in the said bombings
- The militant group is said to pursue attacks to avenge recent losses
80 people were dead and 160 others were injured in two bombings in the district of Karrada and Sha’ab in Iraq, the first being a car bomb. The militant group Islamic State has claimed the two blasts as confirmed by Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan.
Eyewitnesses said that many shops were burned down and the number of casualties are feared to rise.
The upper middle class capital of Iraq, Karrada district, is mostly inhibited by Shia community that resembles the Islamic State’s signature of targeting Shia-populated areas, such as the recent bombing in Istanbul, though Karrada also has a large Christian population. The area is said to get busy after the sun sets during the month of Ramadan.
“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,” Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at Pan-African News Wire told reporters.
Eyewitnesses then said that there was a second blast at Shaab neighborhood in the northern part of the city. Five people were killed in the second bombing while 16 others were injured. According to reports, a suspected home-made explosive device was used to bomb the market. Iraqi security officials attempt to control to the two districts after the commotion, said Altaf Ahmad, a local journalist.
“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 stated.
Azikiwe presumed that the Islamic State, after being pushed out of Fallujah, pursue attacks for vengeance when the group suffered from losses these past few months. The group however, still holds control to Iraq’s largest city, Mosul.
A different case of suicide attack in Baghdad, earlier this week, took place and killed at least 12 people with 32 others injured in a Sunni mosque in Abu Ghraib. Witnesses said that the attacker was wearing a suicide vest. - AA, Kami Media