At least 28 people have been killed and scores wounded following a twin suicide bombing in Iraq’s capital Baghdad this morning. It is the first suicide bombing to hit the city in nearly two years, and the first in three years to target the same commercial area, shortly after then-Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi declared victory over Daesh.
The “double explosion” struck a busy market in the Bab Al-Shajri area near Tayaran Square according to the Iraq News Agency (INA), who quoted Brigadier General Hazem Al-Azzawi, director of Baghdad Operations Command. Two suicide bombers are believed to have detonated their explosives at an outdoor market for second-hand clothing.
Iraq’s Health Ministry announced all of Baghdad’s hospitals were mobilised to treat the wounded.
Although no one has yet claimed responsibility, the tactic has been mostly been employed by Daesh in recent years and its predecessor Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Daesh were said to be defeated at the end of 2017 although its remnants remain scattered across Iraq and eastern Syria.
The latest bombings come just days after the government unanimously voted to postpone the country’s general elections to October this year. They were scheduled for 6 June. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi had pledged to hold early elections after taking office last year, to appease anti-government protesters demanding a reform of the country’s political system and an end to rampant corruption and poor public services.