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Iraq reels as 36 killed in a suicide blast on eve of Eid Al Adha festival

AFP/Baghdad
Filed on July 20, 2021
AFP

The bloody carnage on Monday evening killed mostly women and children on the eve of Eid Al Adha.


Iraq was in mourning on Tuesday for at least 36 people killed when a bomb ripped through a crowded Baghdad market in what the Daesh group claimed as a suicide attack.

The bloody carnage Monday evening, one of the deadliest attacks in years in the war-scarred country, killed mostly women and children on the eve of Eid Al Adha.

In the panic and chaos of the attack, screams of terror and anguish filled the air. When the smoke cleared, human remains lay strewn amid scattered sandals, market produce and the charred debris of stalls.

Iraqi President Barham Salih condemned the “heinous crime of unprecedented cruelty on the eve of Eid,” writing on Twitter that the perpetrators “do not allow people to rejoice, even for a moment”.

The United Nations Mission in Iraq said the attack showed that “the scourge of terrorism knows no bounds”, while the German embassy expressed its “sadness after this senseless and brutal attack”.

No official death toll has yet been released by Iraqi authorities, but medical sources told AFP on Tuesday morning that at least 36 people were killed and about 60 wounded.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhemi said the “cowardly attack illustrates the failure of terrorists to regain a foothold after being defeated by our heroic security forces” and vowed that “terrorism will not go unpunished”.

The attack came days before Kadhemi was to meet US President Joe Biden in Washington, and months ahead of a scheduled parliamentary election in October.

“This is a clear message that Daesh is still present and is able to strike targets in Baghdad,” said Osama Al Saidi, head of the Iraqi Political Science Association.

“Whenever elections approach, terror attacks happen with the aim of sending a political message that those governing are weak.”





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