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Baghdad attacks: Isis claims responsibility after at least 125 die in bombings

The bombings came near the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when the streets are filled with young people and families after dusk

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 03 July 2016 08:43 BST
Baghdad attack: Isis claims responsibility after 78 dead in car bombing

At least 125 people have been killed in two separate bomb attacks in Baghdad, Iraq.

A pickup truck packed with explosivse blew up outside a crowded market in Karada killing at least 115 people and wounding up to 187 others, officials said.

The attack struck as families and young people were out on the streets after breaking their daylight fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Most of the victims were inside a multi-story shopping centre, where dozens burned to death or suffocated.

The dead included 15 children, 10 women and six policemen, a police officer told the Associated Press.

People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq, 3 July, 2016 (Reuters)

Isis claimed responsibility for the attack, releasing a statement to say a suicide car bomber targeted Shiites and warning "the raids of the mujahedeen [holy warriors] against the Rafidha [Shiites] apostates will not stop".

Shortly after the first bombing, an improvised explosive blew up in in eastern Baghdad, killing at least five people and wounding 16. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the second attack.

At dawn on Sunday, fire fighters were still working to extinguish blazes at the Karada blast site and bodies were still being recovered from charred buildings.

Many of the dead were children, according to a team from The Associated Press at the scene.

Iraqis react at the site of suicide car bomb attack in the Karada district of central Baghdad, Iraq, 3 July, 2016 (EPA)

Ambulances could be heard rushing to the site for hours following the blast. An eyewitness said the explosion caused fires at nearby clothing and mobile phone shops.

Hours after the bombing, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the site, where he was met by an angry crowd.

The attacks came just over a week after Iraqi forces declared the city of Fallujah "fully liberated" from Isis.

Over the last year, Iraqi forces have racked up territorial gains against Isis, retaking the city of Ramadi and the towns of Hit and Rutba, all in Iraq's vast Anbar province, west of Baghdad.

Despite the government's victories on the battlefield, Isis has repeatedly shown it remains capable of launching attacks far from the front-lines.

The terror group remains in control of Iraq's second largest city of Mosul, as well as significant areas of territory in the country's north and west.

Additional reporting by AP

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