Baghdad blasts: at least 90 killed
Wednesday was a Black Day for Baghdad, with a string of bomb blasts targeting Shia neighbourhoods in the Iraqi capital killing at least 90 people.
The biggest of the three attacks targeted Sadr City. While the Guardian reported 63 deaths, the New York Times said the 10 am blast killed at least 66 people and wounded 87 others.
A vehicle loaded with bombs exploded at a busy commercial area, killing over 63 people and injuring 87 others. Islamic State extremists claimed responsibility for the attack. An SUV packed with explosives that was packed near a beauty salon went off at rush hour in Sadr City, early reports said. Most of the victims were women and many of the wounded are in critical condition, sources said.
The other two bombings were reported at a police checkpoint in the Kadhmiya neighborhood in northwest Baghdad that killed 17 and at another police checkpoint in the Jamiya neighborhood in central Baghdad that left nine dead.
The death toll from the attacks rose steadily through the day. In the late afternoon, Hakim al-Zamili, the head of the Security and Defense Committee of the Iraqi Parliament, said the number of dead in the Sadr City attack could be as high as 95, an NY Times report said.
Despite the resurgence of ISIS in areas outside the capital, the frequency of attacks in Baghdad has slowed over the past year, thanks to improved safety measures. But ISIS continues to demonstrate that it can still launch coordinated campaigns in sensitive areas of the city despite a massive security presence.
Iraqi officials have yet to come up with a way to stop car bombs from being driven around the city and detonated in areas that have frequently been targeted.
The ultra-hardline Sunni jihadist group, which considers Shi’ites apostates, claimed a twin suicide bombing in Sadr City in February that killed 70 people.
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