Iraq mourns 200 killed in car bomb­ing

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

Photo: AFP

Iraqis mourn over bod­ies of rel­a­tives killed in the sui­cide bomb­ing that ripped through Baghdad’s busy shop­ping district of Kar­rada on July 3.

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