Suicide Attack Reportedly Leaves 15 Dead, 20 Injured in Central Baghdad Market

A double suicide attack in the Iraqi capital Baghdad has claimed the lives of at least 15 people while leaving at least 30 injured, a source told Sputnik

The source said that one of the bombers blew themselves up in Tayaran Square, while the other detonated their device in the “Bab al-Sharqi” market in central Baghdad.

The source noted that ambulances had rushed to the scenes of the explosions to transport the dead and the wounded to nearby hospitals.

According to police sources, the death toll could increase as some of the wounded were in critical condition. The explosions occurred in a commercial centre in central Baghdad and besides human casualties, there’s material damage.

Brigadier General Hazem al-Azzawi, the director of Baghdad Operations Command, told the Iraq News Agency (INA) that a “double explosion” hit a crowded market in the Bab al-Sharji area near Tayaran Square.

The Operations Command said two suicide bombers detonated their explosives at an outdoor market for second-hand clothing. According to three police officials, seven people have been killed in the attack so far and more than 25 others wounded.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. They also said the death toll from the attack could rise as some wounded people were in a critical condition.

The Iraqi security services have cordoned off the two bombing sites, while also reportedly closing the entrance to the Green Zone, occupied by the federal government as its headquarters in central Baghdad.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet, , but suicide attacks have mostly been used by ISIL (ISIS). After years of deadly sectarian violence following the 2003 US invasion and the defeat of Islamic State in 2017, suicide bombings have become relatively rare in the capital.

Baghdad has witnessed almost no such attacks since Iraqi forces and a US-backed coalition drove the ISIS militant group from territory it controlled in Iraq. The last deadly suicide blast in the Iraqi capital took place in January 2018, also at Tayaran Square, killing at least 27 people.

Militias have routinely targeted the US presence with rocket and mortar attacks, especially the US embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone. The pace of the attacks has decreased since an informal truce was declared by Iran-backed armed groups in October.

Iraq declared ISIL defeated at the end of 2017 after a fierce three-year campaign. But the group’s sleeper cells have continued to operate in desert and mountain areas, typically targeting security forces or state infrastructure with low-casualty attacks.