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At least 30 killed in bomb attack at Baghdad market

The blast happened a day before the Eid al-Adha holiday.

People at the site of a bombing in Wahailat market in Sadr City, Baghdad.
People at the site of a bombing in Wahailat market in Sadr City, Baghdad.
Image: PA

A ROADSIDE BOMB attack has targeted a Baghdad suburb, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens at a crowded market, Iraqi security officials said.

The attack took place in the Wahailat market in Sadr City, Iraq’s military said in a statement.

Two Iraqi security officials said at least 30 people were killed and dozens more wounded in the powerful explosion.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

In a message posted to its Telegram channel, the militant group said a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt in Sadr City.

The blast happened a day before the Eid al-Adha holiday when the market was busy with shoppers looking for gifts and groceries.

Piles of merchandise lay on the ground after the explosion. Shopkeepers recounted to security forces how the blast occurred as they salvaged what items they could.

Iraqi President Barham Salih called the bombing a “heinous crime”, and offered his condolences.

“They are targeting our civilians in Sadr City on the eve of Eid,” Salih said on Twitter. “They do not allow people to rejoice, even for a moment.”

iraq-bombing People lighting candles at the site of the bombing today in Baghdad, Iraq. Source: Khalid Mohammed

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi placed the commander of the federal police regiment responsible for the area of the market place under arrest, the military statement said. It also said an investigation has been launched.

It was the third time this year that a bomb hit a market in the densely populated neighbourhood in eastern Baghdad.

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In June, 15 people were wounded when a bomb placed under a kiosk in another Sadr City market detonated. In April, at least four people were killed in a car bomb attack in Sadr City. That blast was caused by an explosive device attached to a parked car at the market.

Today’s attack comes two months ahead of federal elections.

Large bomb attacks, once an almost daily occurrence in Baghdad, have slowed in recent years since IS was defeated on the battlefield in 2017.

However, in January this year over 30 people were killed in a twin suicide bombing in a busy commercial area in central Baghdad. It was the deadliest bombing in three years to strike Iraq’s capital.

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