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Deadly suicide bomb attack targets busy market in Iraq’s capital

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It was the third time this year that a bomb hit a market in the densely populated neighborhood in eastern Baghdad

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held an urgent meeting with top security commanders to discuss the Daesh-claimed attack, in Iraq’s Sadr city east of the capital Baghdad. Iraqi security forces inspect the site of an explosion in Sadr City district of Baghdad, Iraq on July 19, 2021. (Reuters) A roadside bomb attack has targeted a Baghdad suburb, killing at least 35 people and wounding dozens of others at a crowded market, Iraqi medical officials said.

The attack took place in the Wahailat market in Sadr City, Iraq's military said in a statement. 

More than 60 people were wounded, a police source said.

Hospital sources said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held an urgent meeting with top security commanders to discuss the attack, the premier's office said in a brief statement.

The Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's Nasheer news agency said on Telegram.

The blast happened a day before the Eid al Adha holiday when the market was busy with shoppers looking for gifts and groceries.

Piles of merchandise lay on the ground after the explosion. Shopkeepers recounted to security forces how the blast occurred as they salvaged what items they could.

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On the Eve of Eid Al Ad-ha . Explosion in Sadr City, Baghdad. https://t.co/Y1qJMBILTg

Rasha Al Aqeedi (@RashaAlAqeedi) July 19, 2021 No immediate claim of responsibility

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing but the Islamic State group has claimed similar attacks in the area before.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi placed the commander of the federal police regiment responsible for the area of the market place under arrest, the military statement said. It also said an investigation was launched.

It was the third time this year that a bomb hit a market in the densely populated neighborhood in eastern Baghdad.

In June, 15 people were wounded when a bomb placed under a kiosk in another Sadr City market detonated. 

In April, at least four people were killed in a car bomb attack in Sadr City. That blast was caused by an explosive device attached to a parked car at the market.

Monday's attack comes two months ahead of federal elections slated for October 10.

Large bomb attacks, once an almost daily occurrence in Baghdad, have slowed in recent years since Daesh was defeated on the battlefield in 2017.

Attacks persist, however. In January, over 30 people were killed in a twin suicide bombing in a busy commercial area in central Baghdad. It was the deadliest bombing in three years to strike Iraq’s capital.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies