Baghdad, Iraq – Two suicide bombings in Baghdad have killed at least seventeen civilians and wounded more than fifty. The explosions took place in Shiite-dominated neighborhoods, and ISIL has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The first blast occurred when a bomber walked to some construction workers that were gathered in an eastern New Baghdad neighborhood, and set off his explosive vest, killing eleven people immediately. According to a police officer, more than thirty civilians resulted injured. Private property, such as cars and shops were also damaged. A few hours later, another suicide bomber approached an outdoor market, and then activated his explosives, killing six civilians and gravely injuring twenty-two, all shoppers.
In the area of al-Radhwaniya, also in western Baghdad, another bomb that was hidden in the roadside exploded near some merchants and cattle herders, killing at least two persons. Some medical officials have confirmed the numbers. All those who gave statements did so under anonymity since the government has not authorized any information release.
Another two attacks had taken place on Sunday, in the Iraqi capital, killing at least two people, including a soldier and wounding eleven others. In the Tarmiyah district, 60 kilometers north of Baghdad a bomb hit an army convoy, killing one soldier and injuring another four.
Afterward, in western Baghdad, specifically Amrieh, another bomb, believed to be a home-made improvised device blew up at a grocery market, killing one and wounding at least seven others. Also in western Baghdad, a suicide bomber blew himself up near a vocational high school in Iskan neighborhood, killing six civilians and two soldiers, and wounding almost thirty other people.
That same day security officials had closed some main strategic roads, especially those close to commercial buildings, to prevent further attacks, as reported by Al-Iraq News.
“[The measures come] after they have received confirmed intelligence that the Islamic State terrorist organization intends to conduct suicide attacks through the use of vehicle-born bombs on a number of neighborhoods in the capital,” stated an unnamed security source.
The Islamic State takes responsibility
These attacks occurred after the Baghdad Operations Command warned the public on Friday that there were reports of “imminent multiple attacks” in the capital that would be perpetrated by ISIL.
Through online statements, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Sunday and Tuesday attacks. ISIL stated that they were targeting the Hashd al-Shaabi militia on Sunday. On Tuesday, the objective was Shiite militia members. However, ISIL took responsibility for the two suicide bombers, which left the third explosion as the work of a lone wolf.
The statements were not yet verified as authentic as of Tuesday afternoon but were posted on a popular militant website used mostly by ISIL members. ISIL controls significant parts of Iraq, especially the country’s second largest city, Mosul, which is 360 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.
So far, ISIL has been relying on insurgency-style attacks, which kept their militants away from front lines, given that they are suffering significant losses on the battlefields. Iraqi officials have stated the government plans to control Mosul again by the end of the year.
Sources: The Washington Post