[QODLink]
Middle East

Dozens killed in Baghdad cafe explosion

Reports of up to 27 dead and dozens more injured in suicide attack on a Baghdad cafe.

Last Modified: 19 Apr 2013 07:30
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The attack occurred ahead of provincial elections scheduled for the weekend [File: Reuters]

Up to 27 people are reported to have been killed and dozens more injured in a suicide bombing in a Baghdad cafe, a ministry of Interior source has told Al Jazeera.

The source said that a suicide bomber walked into the popular Dubai Cafe crowded with young people late on Thursday and detonated explosives.

The attack occurred ahead of provincial elections scheduled for the weekend.

Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said that the small space in which the suicide bomber detonated meant the injuries were "absolutely horrific."

She said that the Amariyah neighbourhood had been known as an al-Qaeda stronghold before locals turned against the group.

Police said that three children and a woman who were passing by at the time of the blast were among the dead.

The packed internet cafe is on the third floor of the Strawberry mini-mall in the predominantly Sunni neighbourhood of Amiriyah.

An Islamic studies centre, affiliated with the Iraqi Islamic Party, part of the main Sunni political bloc, is located below the top-floor cafe.

Arraf said witnesses reported the force of the blast sent shrapnel and glass flying into an ice cream shop and a pharmacy on the ground floor of the building, severely wounding women and children.

Police said the cafe was full of young people enjoying water pipes and playing pool.

Like other majority Sunni neighbourhoods in Baghdad, Amariyah has been under extremely tight security since anti-government protests started in Sunni provinces and communities in December.

Iraqi officials have said they believe there are still al-Qaeda sleeper cells in the neighbourhood.

261

Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.