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Baghdad attack: At least 24 killed in Isis bombing of ice cream shop as second blast hits Iraq during Ramadan

Two car bombs killed at least 24 people and wounded dozens more in Baghdad[1] streets packed with crowds preparing for the Ramadan[2] fast. Isis[3] claimed responsibility for the first blast outside a popular ice cream shop just after midnight, which killed at least 15 and wounded 40 in the commercial Karrada district. A few hours later, a second explosives-laden car went off during rush hour near the state-run Public Pension Office near the al-Shahada (Martyrs’) Bridge in the busy Shawaka district, killing at least nine and wounding 30 more.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the second bombing, though it bore the hallmarks of Isis.

baghdad2.jpgIraqi security forces and civilians inspect the site of the second deadly bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq (AP/Karim Kadim)

The attacks came just days into the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast during daylight. After sunset, families break their fast and Baghdad’s restaurants and cafes quickly fill up with people staying up long into the night to prepare for the next day’s fast.

baghdad.jpgAn Iraqi man looks over the site of bombing at Alfaqma ice cream shop in Karrada district, Baghdad, Iraq ( EPA/ALI ABBAS)

CCTV video of the explosion outside the ice cream parlour shows a busy downtown area, with cars driving down the street when a massive blast strikes. Then, a huge fireball engulfs a building, forcing the cars to scramble to get away.

Videos of the attack posted on social media show wounded and bloodied people crying for help on the road outside the ice cream shop. Karrada was hit by a massive Isis truck bomb in July 2016 that killed at least 324 people, the deadliest attack in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003.

In pictures: Isis’ weapons factories

Isis claimed the attack in Karrada, a mainly Shia Muslim district, through its Amaq news agency. “Isis terrorists tonight in Baghdad target children and families enjoying time together at an ice cream shop,” Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the anti-Isis coalition tweeted.

“We stand with Iraq against this evil.”

ISIS terrorists tonight in Baghdad target children & families enjoying time together at an ice cream shop. We stand w/Iraq against this evil

— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) May 29, 2017[4]

The terrorist group called on its supporters to wage “all-out war” during Ramadan.[5] Ramadan has previously seen a spike in Isis terror attacks.

Last year, the US State Department warned[6] that a “call to martyrdom during the month may hold a special allure to some”.

The family used as a human shield by Isis

The hardline Sunni group has been retreating in Iraq since the end of 2015 in the face of US-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Shia paramilitary groups. It is now besieged in an enclave in the northern city of Mosul, which it has used as its de facto capital in Iraq. Isis declared a “caliphate” over parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

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  1. ^ Baghdad (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ Ramadan (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ Isis (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ May 29, 2017 (twitter.com)
  5. ^ called on its supporters to wage “all-out war” during Ramadan (www.independent.co.uk)
  6. ^ US State Department warned (www.independent.co.uk)
  7. ^ Reuse content (www.independent.co.uk)

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