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Twin suicide bombing leaves many dead in central Baghdad

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Baghdad

Twin suicide bombs rocked a busy market in central Baghdad on Thursday morning, 21 January, killing at least 13 people,  Iraq News Agency (INA) reports.

A military spokesman said the bombers blew themselves up at a clothing market in Tayaran Square, in Bab al-Sharqi, as they were pursued by security forces. It was the first suicide attack to strike Baghdad in nearly two years.

The first bomber entered the marketplace pretending to be sick, asked for help, causing people to gather around him before he blew himself up. According to officials and state media, the second bomber then drove to the scene on a motorbike before detonating his explosive vest.
According to three police officials, thirteen people have been killed in the attack so far and more than 25 others wounded. They also said the death toll from the attack could rise as some wounded people were in a critical condition.
No group has claimed it was behind the blasts, but Islamic State militants have carried out many similar attacks.

After years of deadly sectarian 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.

Militias have routinely targeted the US presence with rocket and mortar attacks, especially the US embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone. The pace of the attacks has decreased since an informal truce was declared by Iran-backed armed groups in October.

Iraq declared ISIL 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.

 

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