79 people killed in suicide car bomb attack in Baghdad

AGHDAD — The suicide car bomb attacks at a crowded commercial area in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad early Sunday killed 79 people and wounded 133 others, an Interior Ministry source said.

“Our latest report said up to 79 people were killed and 133 wounded by the suicide bomb attack in Baghdad’s Karrada-Dakhil district,” the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Two busy commercial areas in Bagdad were hit by car bombings, with one of the attacks occurring at about 1:00 a.m. local time (2200 GMT) when a suicide bomber detonated his car bomb at a crowded thoroughfare in Karrada-Dakhil in southern central Baghdad, according to what the source told Xinhua earlier.

The powerful blast set fire to several nearby shops and destroyed many stalls and civilian cars at the scene which was crowded with shoppers who are preparing their families for Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of Fast-breaking, which marks the end of a month-long of fasting for Muslims, said the source.

The Iraqi capital was the scene of another attack after midnight when a booby-trapped car went off at Shallal popular market in Baghdad’s northeastern district of Shaab, killing a civilian and wounding five others, the source added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the scene of the massive suicide car bomb attack in Karrada Sunday morning, and promised to punish those behind the attacks, according to a statement issued by his office.

“The terrorist groups carried out such desperate deadly attack as a result of being crushed in the battlefield,” the statement said, referring to the latest defeat of the Islamic State (IS) in the country’s western province of Anbar, including its stronghold in Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad.

Abadi also sent his condolences to the families of the killed and the wounded people and promised that “victory over these terrorist groups is very close.”

Iraq has been hit by a new wave of violence since the IS terrorist group seized parts of Iraq’s northern and western regions in June 2014.

Earlier, a report by UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) estimated that 662 Iraqis were killed and 1,457 others wounded in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in June across Iraq. PNA/Xinhua/northboundasia.com