BAGHDAD, July 19 (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people and injured dozens on Monday in a busy market in Baghdad’s Sadr City district on the eve of the Eid al-Adha festival, security and hospital sources said.
More than 60 people were injured, a police source said.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, the group’s Nasheer news agency reported on Telegram. It said one of its militants blew up his explosive vest among the crowd.
Sources at the hospital said the death toll could rise as a number of those injured are in critical condition.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held an urgent meeting with top security commanders to discuss the attack, the prime minister’s office said in a brief statement.
President Barham Salih posted a tweet saying: “A terrible crime is targeting civilians in the city of Sadr on the eve of Eid…We will not rest until terrorism is cut off at its roots.”
In April, the Sunni Islamist militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on a market in Baghdad’s main Shia Muslim district of Sadr City, which killed four people and injured 20.
Islamic State has also claimed responsibility for a bomb attack last January that left more than 30 dead in the bustling market in central Baghdad’s Tayaran Square – Iraq’s first major suicide attack in three years.
Major bombings were once a near-daily occurrence in the Iraqi capital, but have declined since an Islamic State invasion of northern and western Iraq was defeated in 2017.
Report by the editors of Baghdad and Alaa Swilam and Nayera Abdallah in Cairo, written by Alaa Swilam; adaptation by Kevin Liffey and Grant McCool
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