126 killed including 25 children in Baghdad attacks; ISIS claims responsibility
BAGHDAD — For the third time in a week terrorists carried out a mass slaughter of civilians, with ISIS claiming responsibility for each attack.
The deadliest terror attack killed 126 people, including 25 children, Saturday evening in a busy shopping district in Baghdad.
Families had gathered there to break the Ramadan fast and watch the Euro 2016 soccer tournament in a cafe when a suicide car bomb exploded, ripping through a multi-level building that also housed stores and a gym.
At least 147 were injured.
A second bomb exploded Sunday at an outdoor market in the Shaab neighborhood of southeastern Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five others, police said
ISIS, also known as ISIL, claimed responsibility for the Karrada attack in a statement posted on Twitter. The group claimed it was targeting Shiite neighborhoods. Karrada and Shaab are predominately Shiite.
Residents, angry at the government’s apparent inability to maintain security in the capital, were seen throwing objects at a convoy carrying Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Karrada.
Amateur videos posted on social media showed protesters yelling “thief!” and “get out!” as Al-Abadi and other officials attempted to survey the bomb damage.
“This is a cowardly and heinous act of unparalleled proportions, to target peaceful civilians in the closing days of the holy month of Ramadan including shoppers preparing for the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday,” Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General (SRSG) for Iraq, said in a statement Sunday.
The White house issued a statement saying: “These attacks only strengthen our resolve to support Iraqi security forces as they continue to take back territory from ISIL, just as we continue to intensify our efforts to root out ISIL’s terrorist network and leaders.”
The attacks came just days after massacres at a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh and at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey.
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Baghdad has witnessed a surge in the number of deadly car bomb attacks in recent weeks, with ISIS claiming responsibility for many of them.
One of the deadliest incidents occurred in Sadr City on May 17, when a car packed with explosives detonated killing at least 24 people and wounding 71 others, according to security officials.
That was followed by two more explosions in the al-Shaab neighborhood in the north of the capital, which killed at least 19 people and wounded another 44. A female suicide bomber may have been responsible for one of the blasts, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.