IS-claimed Baghdad blast kills at least 75 – officials

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BAGHDAD: A suicide car bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed at least 75 people in a Baghdad shopping district in the early hours of Sunday, officials said, the deadliest single attack in the capital this year.

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The blast, which ripped through a street in the Karrada area where many people go to shop ahead of the holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, also wounded more than 130 people, security and medical officials said.

IS issued a statement claiming the suicide car bombing, saying it was carried out by an Iraqi as part of the group’s “ongoing security operations.”

The jihadist group said the bombing targeted members of Iraq’s Shiite Muslim majority, whom it considers heretics and frequently attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere.

The bombing came a week after Iraqi forces completely recaptured Fallujah, a city 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad that was a key IS stronghold.

Violence in the capital has decreased since IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but the jihadists have previously stepped up attacks following military losses.

With Fallujah retaken by Baghdad, second city Mosul is the only major Iraqi population center held by IS.

AFP

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