Central Baghdad Twin Blast Casualties Rise To 28, More Than 73 Wounded
By Staff, Agencies
A rare twin suicide bombing claimed the lives of 28 people so far, and wounded 73 others on a bustling commercial street in the heart of Baghdad on Thursday, the military said, rupturing months of relative calm.
Brigadier General Hazem al-Azzawi, the director of Baghdad Operations Command, told the Iraq News Agency [INA] that a “double explosion” hit a crowded market in the Bab al-Sharji area near Tayaran Square.
Medical sources told AFP news agency they feared the death toll could rise. The health ministry said it had mobilized medics across the capital to respond to the deadly attack.
Military spokesman Yahya Rasool said two suicide bombers detonated their explosives as they were being pursued by security forces.
An AFP reporter at the scene said the bombers had struck a huge open-air market for second-hand clothes in Tayaran Square.
After years of deadly violence following the 2003 US invasion, suicide bombings have become relatively rare in the capital. The last such attack took place in June 2019 and left several people dead.
No group claimed the attack immediately, but suicide attacks have mostly been used by Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group].
Iraq declared Daesh defeated at the end of 2017 after a fierce three-year campaign. But the group’s sleeper cells have continued to operate in desert and mountain areas, typically targeting security forces or state infrastructure with low-casualty attacks.
“This kind of attacks bears the hallmark of Daesh who have targeted crowded civilian areas in Baghdad with suicide attacks many times in the past,” said Sajad Jiyad, an Iraqi analyst.