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Car bomb kills scores at Baghdad market

May 11, 2016

An SUV loaded with explosives blew up near a beauty salon in Baghdad's Sadr City, killing dozens, officials said. The "Islamic State" group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Irak Explosion einer Autobombe in Bagdad
Image: Reuters/W. al-Okili

At least 60 people died when a car bomb exploded at a crowded Baghdad market at rush hour Wednesday. The bomb hit near a beauty salon and most of the victims were women, according to police and hospital sources cited by Reuters news agency.

The attack also wounded at least 66 people, many of whom are still in critical condition.

Karim Salih, a 45-year-old grocer, said the attackers used a pickup truck that appeared to be loaded with fruits and vegetables.

"It was such a thunderous explosion that jolted the ground," Salih told the AP news agency. "The force of the explosion threw me for meters, and I lost conscious for a few minutes," the merchant added.

While Salih suffered no injuries, two of his workers were wounded in the blast.

IS targeting Shiites

Baghdad's Sadr City, where the bombing occurred, is a mainly Shiite district in the north of Iraq's capital.

The Sunni-dominated "Islamic State" group claimed responsibility for the blast, describing it as an attack on a group of Shiite militiamen.

Previously, IS had claimed responsibility for twin bombings that killed 70 people at the Sadr City market in late February.

Iraqi security forces have pushed out the Sunni militia out of large swaths of territory in recent months. However, IS still holds Mosul and several other cities, and is launching terror strikes on government-controlled areas.

The group considers Shiite Muslims to be heretics.

dj/sms (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)