Sunday, February 8, 2015

36 Die in Pair of Baghdad Suicide Bombings


BAGHDAD – A pair of suicide blasts Saturday targeting a restaurant and a market in Baghdad killed at least 36 people and wounded nearly 100 others, an Iraqi police spokesperson told Efe.

In the first attack in the southeastern Shi’ite neighborhood of New Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt in a restaurant, killing 30 and wounding 66.

In the second attack, a suicide bomber detonated explosives in the Sharqa market district of downtown Baghdad, killing five and leaving a score wounded.

The spokesperson said many of the wounded are in serious condition at area hospitals and did not rule out the possibility of a higher death toll.

The suicide bombings occurred just hours before a nighttime curfew in Baghdad was to be lifted. Iraqi authorities had said Thursday that the curfew, which has been imposed for more than a decade, would end Saturday night.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces, supported by U.S.-led coalition air strikes, are immersed in a struggle against the Sunni militant group Islamic State, which has proclaimed a caliphate in the areas of Iraq and Syria under its control.

The IS, a coalition of jihadists, tribal militias and veterans of the late Saddam Hussein’s army, in June 2014 overran a large swath of northern Iraq, including Mosul, a city of more than 1 million people.

At least 1,375 Iraqis died and 2,240 were wounded in terrorist bombings and other violence in the Arab country in January, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq.


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