At least 83 people died in a bomb attack on a busy shopping street in the Iraqi capital in the early hours of Sunday morning, as Islamic State militants target civilians as they lose ground on the battlefield.
A further 137 were injured in the bombing and the ensuing fire in Baghdad’s Karada neighborhood, according to a health official who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had targeted Shiite Muslims.
The suicide car bomb struck as crowds of families were out on the streets after breaking their fast during one of the final few days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It set off a huge blaze that engulfed two small shopping centers, leaving those inside trapped on the roof and screaming for help as firefighters attempted to rescue them.
The attack comes a week after the Iraqi government declared that it had expelled Islamic State militants from their stronghold of Fallujah, 45 miles west of the capital, squeezing the group’s territory. The militants have now lost around half of the ground they once controlled in the country and have called for attacks during Ramadan.
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