Twin suicide bomb attack in Baghdad killed at least 23 people on Sunday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the twin suicide bombings at the Baghdad markets, the latest in a recent spate of bombings, tactics to which Islamic State is resorting as it comes under growing pressure in Mosul, its last major stronghold in Iraq.
The attacks occurred on the same day as anti-ISIS forces charged on the terrorist outfit`s stronghold in Mosul.
The first explosion happened when an attacker drove a car full of explosives into a vegetable market in a large Shiite part of the city and detonated it as police officers began firing at the vehicle. The attack killed 11 people and injured 25 others.
“A soldier at the gate of Jamilah Market opened fire on a suicide car bomb after noticing a suspect vehicle but the terrorist blew up his car,” government spokesman Saad Maan said in a televised statement.
At a hospital where victims of the attack had been taken, a body exploded inside a morgue refrigerator. The medics said it appeared to have been a second attacker who was killed by shrapnel from the first explosion. IS claimed the attack on a popular tourist website, using a nom de guerre indicating the bomber was Iraqi and saying it was targeting Shiites. The Sunni extremist group views Iraq’s Shiite majority as apostates deserving of death.
A few hours later, in the second attack, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest blew himself up at a fruit and vegetable market in another mostly Shi’ite district, Baladiyat, killing 9 shoppers and injuring 24 others. ISIS media wing, Amaq claimed responsibility for the attack in statements posted on Twitter, which also said that the attack targeted Shiite Muslims.
Three additional bombings in and around the capital killed seven people and wounded 24 others.
As an international coalition continues to drive ISIS fighters out of major Iraqi cities like Fallujah and Mosul, attacks in the capital have increased in frequency. More than 80 people have been killed in just over a week in attacks in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.
Iraq’s Kurdish regional government said in a statement on Sunday that Kurdish and coalition forces killed an Islamic State figure in a joint operation near the city of Kirkuk on Jan. 5.The operation took place in Hawija, it said. Islamic State has a smaller presence in the area.
The latest attacks came as Iraqi forces are trying to drive IS militants from the northern city of Mosul in a massive operation launched in mid-October. In recent days, troops have pushed closer to the Tigris River, which splits the city in half.