Violence has once again brought mourning to the Iraqi capital. Thirty people were killed and dozens injured on Monday in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group on a market in a Shiite suburb of Baghdad.
In a message published hours after the attack on its Telegram channel, ISIS claimed that one of its suicide bombers set off his explosive belt. According to security and medical sources, the toll fluctuates between 28 and 30 dead, including fifteen women and children, and between 30 and 50 injured. This is the second attack claimed by ISIS since the beginning of the year in the Iraqi capital, where two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a Baghdad market, killing 32 people.
Candles and traces of blood
The explosion occurred late Monday afternoon in one of the popular markets of Sadr City, a huge deprived Shiite neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, where many people flocked to shop on the eve of the most important Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha. Pieces of body, sandals littered the ground in the middle of the devastated stalls. On the spot, the police and forensic teams questioned witnesses, while residents gathered and lit candles.
The injured were transported to a hospital in Sadr City, and the health ministry has promised to make resources available to help overwhelmed medical teams. Iraqi President Barham Saleh for his part denounced on Twitter “a hate crime and unprecedented cruelty”. “They are targeting our civilians in Sadr City on the eve of Eid. They do not accept that people rejoice, even for a moment, ”he condemned. “Sad night of Eid in Iraq”, tweeted for its part the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Iraq. Anonymous Iraqis have also expressed their pain on social media.
Legislative elections in October
ISIS, which controlled large swathes of Iraqi territory between 2014 and 2017, was defeated by Iraqi troops backed by an international coalition led by the United States. Cells of this organization are however still present in the country, especially in mountainous and desert areas.
Sadr City, a popular suburb of Baghdad, is the stronghold of supporters of the turbulent Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr, whose influence is often decisive in Iraqi politics. A few days ago, Moqtada al-Sadr announced that he intended to boycott the legislative elections scheduled for October in a country plagued by power failure. This attack also occurs a few days before the next visit to the United States of Prime Minister Moustafa al-Kazimi, who will be received by Joe Biden on July 26.