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Terrorism

Deadly bomb blasts rip through central Baghdad

Nearly 30 people have been killed in multiple bomb blasts in a busy market in the Iraqi capital, police said. The so-called "Islamic State" group claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Twin blasts rock Baghdad market

At least 29 people have been killed and 53 others wounded on Saturday when three bombs exploded in a busy market in central Baghdad, according to Iraqi police.

Baghdad has been rocked by several bomb attacks in 2016, which have often left dozens killed and scores more injured.

The bombs went off near car spare parts shops in al-Sinak during the morning rush hour. One was triggered by a suicide bomber and another was a planted explosive, an interior ministry official told Reuters news agency.

"Many of the victims were people from the spare parts shops in the area, they were gathered near a cart selling breakfast when the explosions went off," said Ibrahim Mohammed Ali, who owns a nearby shop.

Later that day a minibus packed with explosives exploded killing four people in a busy commercial street in the eastern New Baghdad district, police and medics said.

The self-proclaimed "Islamic State" claimed responsibility for the first attacks in a statement posted by its Aamaq news agency, saying both were suicide bombs targetting Shiite Muslims.

Baghdad has been put on high alert since October, when Iraqi forces launched a military campaign to liberate Mosul from the "Islamic State" militant group.

Although Raqqa in Syria is considered the militant group's de facto capital, Mosul represents one of its most important strongholds. In June 2014, "Islamic State" leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the creation of the group's so-called "caliphate" from Mosul.

Saturday's attack marks the biggest in the Iraqi capital since the beginning of the Mosul operation.

ls,aw/rc,se (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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