Dozens killed in bombings in Iraq’s Baghdad
At least 70 killed and over 100 wounded in attacks in mainly Shia neighbourhoods, increasing pressure on the government.
Three bombings in Baghdad have killed at least 70 people and wounded more than 100, police and medical sources say, as a wave of violence continues unabated in the Iraqi capital.
A suicide bombing on Tuesday in a marketplace in the northern, mainly Shia district of al-Shaab killed 38 people and wounded over 70, while a car bomb in the nearby Sadr City neighbourhood left at least 19 more dead and 17 wounded.
|CIVILIAN DEATHS IN IRAQ|
May 1-15: 631
2015 : 17,380
Source: Iraq Body Count
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the al-Shaab attack, which it said was carried out by a man identified as Abu Khattab al-Iraqi.
The bomber threw hand grenades and then detonated a suicide belt, it said.
A spokesperson for the Baghdad Operations Command told state television the attacker detonated an explosives-filled vest in coordination with a planted bomb.
Initial investigations revealed that the bomber was a woman, he said.
Another car bombing, in the mixed Shia-Sunni southern Baghdad neighbourhood of al-Rasheed, killed six and wounded 21, the sources said, in what a military spokesperson described as a suicide attack.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks in al-Rasheed and Sadr City.
However, ISIL has claimed a series of other attacks in and near Baghdad that have killed more than 100 people in seven days.
“The spike in deadly bomb attacks across Baghdad, in predominantly Shia areas, will outrage anyone who places value on human life,” James Lynch, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said.
“Today’s sickening attacks, carried out in daytime in areas well known to be frequented by civilians such as busy markets, display a total disregard for the lives of civilians and the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law.”
Elsewhere, in northern Iraq, an Australian working for a landmine-clearance charity was killed on Tuesday while trying to defuse a bomb planted by ISIL, three of his colleagues said.
The man was working under the non-profit Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) in the Daquq area, about 200km north of Baghdad.
Alex Van Roy, FSD programme manager, said the man was killed instantly when the bomb containing up to 7kg of explosives blew up.
Attacks claimed by ISIL in and around Baghdad last week killed more than 100 people, leading to anger on the streets over the government’s failure to ensure security.
Attacks in Baghdad decreased following a June 2014 ISIL offensive that saw its fighters focus on holding territory and fighting battles in other areas, and large quantities of explosives used in areas outside Baghdad.
Iraqi forces have regained significant ground from the group, but the frequency of attacks in Baghdad has increased in recent weeks.
The violence has increased pressure on Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, to resolve a political crisis or risk losing control of parts of Baghdad.