At least around 45 people have been killed, as well as dozens injured, in a bombing on Thursday at one of Southwest Baghdad’s most popular car markets.
This has been the deadliest attach in a recent trend of bombings and killings in the Iraq’s capital, and is being blamed on militant group Islamic State, said the Interior Ministry.
A spokesman for the department said a bomb had been placed inside a parked vehicle in the market’s Bayaa neighborhood, which sits between the Baghdad International Airport and Tigris River. In a quick statement circulating online, the Islamic State assumed responsibility for the attack.
The incident was the third bombing in Baghdad in only a few days, and appears to aim at distracting the nation’s government as officials prepare to attempt to force the Islamic State out of Mosul.
Iraq’s government spent recent years and extremely large sums of money attempting to keep Baghdad safe via checkpoints, security gates, and other means, but militants keep finding new ways through. Last November, a different bombing killed 70 or more civilians, including Iranian pilgrims, at a Southern Baghdad gas tation. The Islamic State also took credit for that attack.
Mushtaq Talib, a dentist, 28, lives only a couple of miles away from the market, and said the blast shook his home. As is usual on weekends in the capital, the market had been crowded. Talib said that after the explosion, he ran to the scene
“It was horrible,” he recalled. “Dead bodies and body parts everywhere, they were all civilians.”
Cars not affected by the explosion were beginning to be used to take the dead and wounded to the nearby hospital as people waited for ambulance assistance.