vigil of prayers for the victims of the two deadly car bombing attacks
in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, over the weekend, which left more than
200 people dead.
The participants, lighting candles,
converged on the streets of Baghdad’s shopping area of Karrada after
breaking their dawn-to-dusk fast for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan to
pray for the deceased.
“We are very sad about what happened to
the victims, the innocent people. Unfortunately, this disaster happened
on Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Destiny). I don’t know what to say. It’s a
tragedy. It’s an ugly act and everyone is marking Eid with sadness,”
local resident Haider Falih said, referring to the upcoming Eid al-Fitr,
which marks the end of Ramadan.
“Is this Eid? Every Eid we
jubilate. Is this our Eid? Is this our Eid? Is this our Eid that
everybody celebrates? Is this the Eid we should celebrate? People came
to buy clothes to celebrate Eid. Now they are buying coffins, they’re
buying coffins. May God punish those who are responsible,” Ali Mohammed,
another local resident, said as he cried.
Police and medical
sources said at least 200 people lost their lives and 185 others
sustained injuries in the twin attacks early on Sunday.
attack occurred at about 1 a.m. local time (2200 GMT Saturday) when a
bomber detonated his refrigerator truck packed with explosives in the
capital’s south-central neighborhood of Karada.
The area was busy at the time, as people were eating out and shopping late at night for the Eid al-Fitr.
inspect the damage at the site of a car bombing claimed by the Daesh
terrorist group in Baghdad’s central district of Karrada, July 3, 2016.
(Photo by AFP)At least four buildings were
severely damaged or partly collapsed, including a shopping mall that is
thought to have been the main target of the bombing. Burnt-out shells of
a lot of vehicles parked in the area were scattered all around.
Shortly afterwards, a roadside bomb explosion ripped through the Shallal market in Shaab neighborhood of northern Baghdad.
Takfiri Daesh terrorist group later claimed responsibility for the
attacks, which it said were aimed at Shia neighborhoods of the Iraqi
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq says a
total of 662 Iraqis were killed and another 1,457 wounded in acts of
terrorism, violence and armed conflict in June.
The northern and
western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since
Daesh terrorists started a large-scale campaign of terror in the country
in June 2014.
Iraqi government forces, backed by fighters from Popular Mobilization units, have been fighting the militants.