Iraq mourns 200 killed in car bombing
IRAQ began three days of national mourning yesterday for more than 200 people killed by a suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State jihadists, the deadliest attack in the capital this year.
The blast hit the Karrada district early on July 3 as the area was packed with shoppers ahead of this week’s holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced three days of national mourning for the victims as he visited the site of the attack, and his office said he had vowed to “punish” the perpetrators.
He also ordered changes to Baghdad security measures in response to the bombing, which security officials said killed at least 200 people and wounded more than 180.
The attack came a week after Iraqi security forces recaptured Fallujah from the IS, leaving Mosul as the only Iraqi city under the jihadist group’s control.
The blast set buildings ablaze, and crowds of people watched from the rubble-filled street as emergency personnel carried out victims and worked on the site.
A member of the civil defence forces said it would take “a number of days” to recover the bodies of the victims.
The IS issued a statement claiming responsibility for the suicide bombing, saying it was carried out by an Iraqi as part of the “ongoing security operations”.
The jihadist group said the blast targeted Iraq’s Shiite Muslim majority, whom the Sunni extremists consider heretics and frequently attack in Baghdad and elsewhere.
UN Iraq envoy Jan Kubis condemned the “cowardly and heinous act of unparalleled proportions”, calling on authorities to bring those responsible to justice. –
Iraqis mourn over bodies of relatives killed in the suicide bombing that ripped through Baghdad’s busy shopping district of Karrada on July 3.