Bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and kills 40

February 8, 2015 7:12 pm

Ahead of Baghdad ending a decade-old nightly curfew, bombs exploded
across the Iraqi capital Saturday, killing at least 40 people in a stark
warning of the dangers still ahead in this country torn by the Islamic
State group.
The deadliest bombing 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 have claimed credit for the attack. File photo / APThe Islamic State group
later claimed credit for the attack, saying their bomber targeted
Shiites, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S.-based
monitor. The militants now hold a third of both and
neighboring in their self-declared caliphate.
A second
attack happened in central Baghdad’s popular Shorja market, where two
bombs some 25 metres 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 50 kilometres 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.
The bombings came as Iraq
prepared to lift its nightly midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew on Sunday. The
curfew largely has been in place since 2004, in response to the growing
sectarian violence that engulfed Iraq after the US-led invasion a year
earlier.
There was no immediate comment Saturday from Prime
Minister Haider al-Abadi, who announced the end of the curfew on
Thursday by decree. He also ordered that streets, long blocked off for
security reasons, reopen for traffic and pedestrians.
Iraqi
officials repeatedly have assured that the capital is secure, despite
Sunni militant groups occasionally attacking Baghdad’s Shiite-majority
neighborhoods.

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