Baghdad car bomb claimed by Islamic State kills 51

A car bomb at a Baghdad auto dealership killed at least 51 people and wounded more than 60 on Thursday, Iraqi officials said.

Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan confirmed the toll from the attack, which took place in the southwestern Bayaa neighborhood.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bombing in an online statement circulated by its Aamaq news agency. The Sunni extremist group said it was targeting Shiites. 

The extremist group has carried out near-daily attacks in Baghdad despite suffering military setbacks elsewhere in the country, including in the northern city of Mosul, where U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have been waging a major operation since October.

The U.S. State Department condemned the attack at the car dealership, saying such attacks show the extremist group’s “utter contempt for human life and its efforts to sow discord and division among the Iraqi people.”

Four other attacks in and around Baghdad on Thursday killed eight people and wounded around 30, police and medical officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.


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10:30 a.m.: This article was updated with the latest death toll. 

This article was originally published at 8 a.m.

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