More than 30 people have been killed and wounded dozens more in twin Baghdad bombings in streets packed with crowds preparing for the Ramadan fast.
The first car bomb was detonated outside a popular ice cream shop just after midnight, killing at least 15 and wounded 27 in the commercial Karrada district, police and health officials said. A few hours later, a second explosives-laden car went off during rush hour near the state-run Public Pension Office near the al-Shahada (Martyrs’) Bridge in the busy Shawaka district, killing at least 15 and wounding 23 more, a police officer said.
ISIS quickly claimed responsibility for the first attack on early Tuesday morning, which Iraqi officials said appeared to involve remotely detonated explosives inside a parked car.
The militant group later also claimed responsibility for the second attack through its Amaq news agency, saying its suicide bombers had targeted gatherings of Shia Muslims.
he attacks will exacerbate fears that ISIS will use Ramadan to intensify its campaign against civilians as it continues to lose ground in Mosul.
The courtyard outside the ice-cream shop was a scene of devastation. Footage apparently shot on a phone minutes after the blast showed a dazed young girl stepping past the body of a woman, and what appeared to be body parts strewn across tiles covered with blood and grease.
ISIS members believe blessings for “good deeds” are amplified during the holy month. Over the past 13 years, Isis and its earlier incarnations have regularly targeted civilians, Shia shrines and Christian churches. While the group’s reach inside Baghdad has been weakened by a decade-long counter-terrorism campaign, it retains the ability to slip explosives past a dragnet of checkpoints and cause devastation to civilian populations.