3 Jul 2016

At least 82 dead in IS Iraq attacks

8:19 pm on 3 July 2016

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

A truck-refrigerator packed with explosives blew up in Karrada, killing 80 people and injuring at least 200. Islamic State (IS) 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.

Iraqis at the site of the suicide car bombing in Baghdad's central Karrada district.

Iraqis at the site of the suicide car bombing in Baghdad's central Karrada district. Photo: AFP

Karrada was busy at the time as Iraqis eat out late during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends next week.

A video posted on social media showed a large blaze in the main street of Karrada after the blast. 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.

Iraqi forces last month dislodged IS militants from Falluja, their stronghold just west of the capital that had served as a launch pad for such attacks.

What is Islamic State?

IS still controls large swathes of territory in the country's north and west, including Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.

But the group has been under pressure in Iraq and in neighbouring Syria, where it has been targeted by government forces and US-backed rebels.

Deadly IS attacks

  • 9 June 2016: At least 30 people killed in and around Baghdad in two suicide attacks claimed by IS
  • 17 May 2016: Four bomb blasts kill 69 people in Baghdad; three of the targets were Shia areas
  • 11 May 2016: Car bombs in Baghdad kill 93 people, including 64 in market in Shia district of Sadr City
  • 1 May 2016: Two car bombs kill at least 33 people in southern city of Samawa
  • 26 March 2016: Suicide attack targets football match in central city of Iskandariya, killing at least 32
  • 6 March 2016: Fuel tanker blown up at checkpoint near central city of Hilla, killing 47
  • 28 February 2016: Twin suicide bomb attacks hit market in Sadr City, killing 70

-BBC / Reuters

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