Bombings targeting Shiite districts of Baghdad kill dozens | News | DW | 13.07.2015
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Bombings targeting Shiite districts of Baghdad kill dozens

A string of bomb attacks in mainly Shiite districts of Baghdad has killed at least 35 people. There was no claim of responsibility but the group describing itself as "Islamic State" has made similar attacks in the past.

The deadliest attack targeted the northern Shaab neighborhood of Baghdad. A car bomb exploded near a crowded market and as police and bystanders gathered, a suicide bomber set off explosives strapped to his body. At least 19 people died.

A car bomb in Bunouk, a district in the capital's north east, killed a further nine people. Police were searching the area after receiving information about two bomb threats.

A hundred people were injured in the attacks.

No group claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks but "Islamic State" (IS) controls much of northern Iraq and the province of Anbar to the west of capital. It regularly sends bombers into Baghdad.

Earlier on Sunday, five people died in a suicide bombing attack in Kadhimiya, a district which is home to one of the Shiite community's holiest shrines.

Another bomb in western Baghdad killed two people.

Operation Fallujah

Also on Sunday, security forces started a major military operation to retake the western city of Fallujah from IS control.

"The zero hour for liberating Fallujah from Daesh has started with the participation of 10,000 fighters," an officer at the Anbar army command said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

Iraqi troops are being supported by Shiite paramilitary fighters.

The Anbar officer said "troops have asked all families to leave the city through the
Fallahat crossing in the western part of Fallujah."

Fallujah has been under IS control for nearly two years. In May, IS seized Ramadi, the capital city of Anbar, which borders Syria where the group controls large amounts of territory.

jm/jr (Reuters, AFP)

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