Baghdad’s ten-year-old nightly curfew ended after midnight Sunday, which was hours after bombs exploded in and around the Iraqi capital, killing not less than 40 people in a stark warning of the dangers still ahead in this country under attack by the Islamic State group. AP reports:
The deadliest of Saturday’s bombings happened in the capital’s New Baghdad neighborhood, where a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a street filled with hardware stores and a restaurant, killing 22 people, police said. “The restaurant was full of young people, children and women when the suicide bomber blew himself up,” witness Mohamed Saeed said. “Many got killed.”
The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the bomber targeted Shiites, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S.-based terrorism monitor. The Sunni extremists now hold a third of both Iraq and neighboring Syria in their self-declared caliphate. A second attack happened in central Baghdad’s popular Shorja market, where two bombs some 25 meters (yards) apart exploded, killing at least 11 people, police said. Another bombing at the Abu Cheer outdoor market in southwestern Baghdad killed at least four people, police said.
In Tarmiya, a Sunni town 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Baghdad, a bomb blast killed at least three soldiers in a passing convoy, authorities said. Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to brief journalists. No group claimed the other attacks.