Middle East

131 killed as 2 blasts rip through Ramadan crowds at Baghdad shopping areas

Two blasts have ripped through busy market areas in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, killing at least 131 people and injuring 200 others. Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karada shopping area, in Baghdad [Khalid al Mousily/Reuters]

nterior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan confirmed that the first blast had come from a suicide truck bomb.

“It was like an earthquake. I wrapped up my goods and was heading home when I saw a fireball with a thunderous bombing,”eyewitness Karim Sami told AP. “I was so scared to go back and started to make phone calls to my friends, but none answered.”

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. Reuters TV 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 Islamic State militants from Falluja, their stronghold just west of the capital that had served as a launch pad for such attacks.

 

People inspect the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016.

People inspect the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016.

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