Sunday, 3 July 2016
Baghdad bombings has left over 80 people dead
The powerful explosions early on Sunday came near the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when the streets were filled with young people and families out after sunset.
The vast majority of the casualties came in the first blast, as a truck packed with explosives blew up in the Karada district in central Baghdad, a predominantly Shia neigbourhood.
Sources reported at least 80 people were killed and 132 wounded in the explosion which targeted a busy shopping area.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack in the Karada district in an online statement, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based monitoring service.
Many of the victims were children, officials said, and there were fears the death toll could rise as more bodies could be lying under the rubble of devastated buildings.
In a separate blast, an improvised explosive device went off in a popular market in the mainly Shia neighbourhood of al-Shaab. Reports said at least at least five people were killed in that attack, and 16 were wounded.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the second bombing.
The overall death toll from the two explosions was initially reported much lower, at 23, and there were conflicting reports about the exact number of people killed.