Sat, Jan 07, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Suicide blast in Baghdad, attacks kill 27

VIOLENCE:A car bomb targeted shops and food stands near a bus station in a mostly Shiite neighborhood, while four other attacks killed at least seven people

AP, BAGHDAD

Several attacks in and around Baghdad, including a suicide car bombing in a busy commercial area after nightfall on Thursday, killed at least 27 people in a particularly brutal day in the Iraqi capital.

The suicide bomber, who targeted shops and food stands near a bus station in the city’s busy Bab al-Muadam area, killed 11, a police officer said.

He said the bombing also wounded at least 22 people.

Earlier in the day, bombings elsewhere in and around Baghdad killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens, officials said.

A medical official confirmed the casualty figures.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to release information.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State (IS) group, which has carried out a string of bombings in Baghdad over the past week, killing about 100 people.

Earlier on Thursday, a car bomb tore through a Baghdad market, killing nine people while four other attacks — mostly by bombs that went off in commercial areas or targeted security forces — killed at least seven.

In the Baghdad market attack, the car bomb was parked near outdoor fruit and vegetable stalls in a mostly Shiite neighborhood. The fatalities included two police officers.

The Sunni extremists frequently target Iraq’s security forces and civilians in Shiite neighborhoods.

The IS has managed to carry out a series of attacks across Iraq while also putting up stiff resistance in the northern city of Mosul, where US-backed Iraqi forces have been waging a massive offensive since mid-October last year to retake the city, Iraq’s second-largest, from the militants.

LAST BASTION

Mosul, about 360km northwest of Baghdad, is the extremist group’s last major urban bastion in the country. Iraqi forces have retaken about a quarter of the city since the offensive began.

Iraq announced a new operation on Thursday to recapture IS-held towns near the Syrian border.

Iraqi Major General Qassim al-Mohammadi said the troops would try to dislodge the IS from Rawah, Anah and al-Qaim, towns in the western Anbar Province that fell to the extremists in the summer of 2014.

US-backed Iraqi forces drove the IS from the two main cities of Anbar, Ramadi and Fallujah, last year.

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