Islamic State claims responsibility for twin suicide bombings in Baghdad
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a deadly twin suicide bombing that killed at least 32 people and wounded dozens in central Baghdad.
The group said the bombing “targeted apostate Shiites,” according to a statement circulating on an Islamic State-affiliated website late Thursday. The statement said the first bombing was carried out by Abu Youssef Ansari and the second by Mohammed Arif Muhajir.
Some of the more than 100 people wounded in Thursday’s blasts were in serious condition. According to officials, the first suicide bomber cried out loudly that he was ill in the middle of the bustling market, prompting a crowd to gather around him, and he then detonated his explosive belt. The second detonated shortly after.
The U.S.-led coalition recently ceased combat activities and is gradually drawing down its troop presence in Iraq, sparking fears of an Islamic State resurgence. The group has rarely been able to penetrate the capital since being dislodged by Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition in 2017.
The attack was the first in nearly three years to hit the capital. Elsewhere, in northern Iraq and the western desert, attacks continue and almost exclusively target Iraqi security forces.
An increase in attacks was seen last summer as militants took advantage of the government’s focus on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and exploited security gaps across disputed territory in northern Iraq.
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