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Monday, March 8, 2021

Qatar condemns first major Baghdad attack since 2018

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More than a dozen civilians were killed in the twin suicide bombings and least 73 others wounded.

Doha strongly condemned two consecutive deadly bombings that rocked a busy market in the Iraqi capital on Thursday that killed more than a dozen civilians.

In a statement, the Gulf state said it firmly rejects violence and terrorism, while also expressing its condolences to the families of the victims.

The twin suicide bombings exploded in the Bab al-Sharqi commercial area in central Baghdad, the heart of the Iraqi capital.

At least 28 casualties have been reported and up to 73 civilians were injured. Medical sources say the death toll is expected to rise.

According to AP, Thursday’s attack marks the the first suicide bombing to target the busy market since 2018.

The attack has yet to be claimed, though Iraqi military officials said it bears the hallmark of the Islamic State militant group. 

Read also: Qatar condemns killing of Afghan women judges

The Iraqi Interior Ministry said the first suicide bomber allegedly acted ill to gather civilians around him before detonating the explosives. In a similar move, the second attacker then approached civilians attempting to help the victims from the first blast before carrying out the second attack, witnesses said.

“This is a terrorist act perpetrated by a sleeper cell of the Islamic State,” said Maj. Gen. Tahsin al-Khafaji, spokesman for the Joint Operations Command.

According to an AP report, the style of the assault was similar to those conducted by IS at the height of their control.

These attacks have now decreased in number as authorities ramp up security to enter the Iraqi capital.

The Islamic State militant group seized swathes of land in Iraq and Syria in 2014. Severl years later in 2017, Baghdad declared victory over the militants, though sleeper cells remain in northern Iraq. 

The latest attack comes amid heightened tensions in the country ahead of the general elections, which have been delayed to October 10th.


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