ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Baghdad blast
ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly car bomb explosion Thursday in southwestern Baghdad, according to a statement released by ISIS-affiliated Amaq News Agency.
The blast killed 51 people and wounded at least as many others, Gen. Saad Maan, spokesman for Baghdad’s Operations Command, said in a statement.
The attack targeted a busy car market in the predominately Shiite al-Bayaa district of the Iraqi capital, a security official told CNN.
Even before the ISIS statement began circulating among supporters on social media, the US State Department blamed the terror group for the massacre.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the horrible terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS targeting a car dealership in Baghdad, Iraq, today,” said Mark Toner, the department’s acting spokesman. “We extend our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and friends, and wish a full and quick recovery to those injured.”
Car bombs and roadside bombs are not uncommon in Baghdad, but in 2017, ISIS has already carried out several attacks across the capital and killed dozens of people.
The explosion came less than a day after another car bomb rocked eastern Baghdad, killing five people and wounding at least 20 others, according to Saad Maan, spokesman for Baghdad’s Operations Command. That attack happened in the predominately Shiite neighborhood of Habibiya, he said in a statement.
Protests over the weekend in Baghdad also turned violent. A police officer was killed and seven others wounded during clashes between supporters of powerful Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and security forces, the security operations command said Saturday.