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Dozens Killed In Baghdad Blasts Claimed By Islamic State

  • RFE/RL

Iraqis look at the aftermath following a double blast in a busy market area in Baghdad's central al-Sinek neighborhood on December 31.

Twin suicide bombings at a market area in central Baghdad killed at least 28 people and wounded dozens of others on December 31, officials and medics said.

Police officials said two suicide bombers carried out the morning attacks within minutes of one another at a market selling electrical equipment, car accessories, and other goods in the Iraqi capital's Al-Sinak district.

The extremist Islamic State (IS) group later claimed responsibility for the attacks. It has carried out dozens of such attacks in Baghdad this year, killing hundreds of people.

A police colonel told AFP that 53 people were wounded in the attacks.

The IS group has lost large parts of the territory in northern and western Iraq that it seized in 2014 and is under siege by Iraqi and U.S.-backed forces in the northern city of Mosul, the Sunni group's last major stronghold in the country.

Reuters cited police and medics as saying that four people were killed in a third attack in the city's eastern New Baghdad district when a minibus loaded with explosives blew up in a crowded commercial street.

The Baghdad attacks were the deadliest in the city since Iraqi forces launched an offensive to recapture Mosul in October.

Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces said on December 31 that they successfully stopped a suicide car bombing targeting Kadhimiya, a mainly Shi'ite district in northern Baghdad.

"Acting on intelligence information, Iraqi forces in northern Baghdad tracked down a car bomb with two suicide bombers, who planned to detonate it in Kadhimiya," Baghdad security forces said in a statement, dpa reported.

"The forces ambushed the car, blew it up, and killed the two bombers inside," the statement added.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa, and The New York Times
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