At least 82 killed in overnight Baghdad bombings, police and medics say

Baghdad :At least 82 people were killed and 200 injured in two bombings that hit Baghdad around midnight Saturday, nearly all of them in a blast targeting a busy shopping area as they celebrated Ramadan, police and medical sources said Sunday.

People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016.
People today gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad.

A truck-refrigerator packed with explosives blew up in Karrada, killing 80 people and injuring at least 200. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, in a statement circulated online by supporters of the ultra-hard line Sunni group. It said the blast was a suicide bombing.

Karrada was busy at the time as Iraqis eat out late during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends next week.

A video posted on social media showed a large blaze in the main street of Karrada after the blast. Reuters TV footage taken in the morning showed at least four buildings severely damaged or partly collapsed.

A roadside explosive device also blew up around midnight in a market in al-Shaab, a popular Shi’ite district in the north of the capital, leaving at least two killed, police and medical sources said.

Iraqi forces last month dislodged Islamic State militants from Falluja, their stronghold just west of the capital that had served as a launch pad for such attacks.

Reuters