BAGHDAD: Three bombs killed 29 people in Baghdad on Saturday as fighting intensified in the northern city of Mosul, where Iraqi government forces are trying to rout fighters of the militant Islamic State (IS) group from their last major stronghold in the country.
Blasts, including one suicide attack, tore through a busy market in the Sinak neighbourhood, police said. A pro-IS news agency said the target were Shias.
A third blast later in the day killed four people in the eastern New Baghdad district, where a minibus packed with explosives blew up in a busy commercial street, police and medics said.
“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.
Torn clothes and mangled iron were strewn across the ground in pools of blood at the site of the wreckage near Rasheed street, one of the main thoroughfares in Baghdad, a photographer said.
IS has continued to launch attacks in the heavily fortified capital, even after losing most of the northern and western territory it seized in 2014. The recapture of Mosul would probably spell the end for its self-styled caliphate, but the militants would still be capable of fighting a guerrilla-style insurgency in Iraq, and plotting or inspiring attacks on the West.
Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2017