Car bomb in Baghdad kills 21 people and injures 42 others

Police say bomb was targetted at Shia pilgrims travelling to a shrine to 8th century Imam Moussa al-Kadhim

Sadie Levy Gale
Saturday 30 April 2016 12:43 BST
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Iraqi security forces secure the site of an earlier suicide bombing in the Baghdad Jadida area on April 25, 2016.
Iraqi security forces secure the site of an earlier suicide bombing in the Baghdad Jadida area on April 25, 2016. (HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

A car bombing in southeastern Baghdad has killed at least 21 people and wounded 42 others, according to local police and hospital officials.

The attack targeted Shia pilgrims walking to a holy shrine in Kadhimayah, a suburb of the city, police at the scene said.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, Isis has carried out similar attacks in Baghdad’s Shia neighbourhoods in the past. Isis claims Shias are apostates who deserve death.

Thousands of Shia pilgrims are expected to travel on foot from across Iraq to the shrine to 8th century Imam Moussa al-Kadhim over the coming days to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

Iraq has been plagued by sectarian violence since the American invasion in 2003, when US troops deposed the largely secular Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has come under increasing in recent months following political instability and the cost of the fight against Isis
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has come under increasing in recent months following political instability and the cost of the fight against Isis (Reuters)

Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s Prime Minister, is under increasing public pressure after the failure of repeated attempts by his government to combat economic problems and carry out political reforms.

Analysts and Iraqi security officials say Isis is resorting to insurgent-style attacks in Baghdad and other areas after a number of defeats on the battlefield.

It has lost approximately 40 per cent of the populated territory it once held in Iraq, according to the BBC.

In March, Isis claimed it carried out a suicide bombing attack on a stadium in Baghdad, which killed 30 and injured 95 others, according to Al Jazeera.

More than 40 civilians have been killed in large-scale bombings in Baghdad over the past month.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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