Death toll in Baghdad Shiite market suicide blasts rises to 70
BAGHDAD, At least 70 people died in Baghdad in two suicide bombings perpetrated by the Isis targeting an outdoor market in a predominantly Shia district.
The explosion in Baghdad’s Sadr City on Sunday left at least 161 people injured. The explosions were reportedly caused by a motorcycle rigged with explosives and a suicide bomber who detonated as people gathered to help those injured from the first explosion.
The Islamic State’s media wing — the al-Hayat Media Center — claimed responsibility for the attack and said more attacks would follow.
The Islamic State is a Sunni militant Islam group and considers Shiites to be heretics.
Last week, the group claimed responsibility for a similar attack in a Shia suburb of Damascus, Syria.
Since 2014 the group has controlled swaths of land in northern and western Iraq after spilling over from Syria in a rapid advance that sent thousands of Iraqi troops fleeing.
The Iraqi military, supported by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition, has counter-attacked since then, seizing IS-held cities such as Tikrit, Sinjar and Ramadi.
However, the militants still possess strongholds in Mosul, Fallujah and neighboring Syria — and continue conducting suicide bomb attacks in Shia communities, often detonating a follow-up explosive after emergency services and crowds have formed at the scene of an initial blast.
Fred Lambert contributed to this report.