Two Baghdad Blasts Kill 27 in Ramadan

The scene of the car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh District in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 30The scene of the car bomb attack near a government office in Karkh District in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 30

Two blasts ripped through the Iraqi capital of Baghdad just days into the holy month of Ramadan, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 100.

The self-styled Islamic State terrorist group claimed the first and deadliest suicide car bomb attack, which took place shortly after midnight at a busy ice cream parlor in Karrada, killing at least 16 people and injuring at least 75-with children among the victims, Aljazeera reported.

Scenes of panic and carnage followed the explosion in the Shia district where last July IS bombed close to 300 people to death in the worst attack in 13 years of war.

A number of wounded lay on the ground, others propped themselves up on the colorful park benches outside the ice cream shop.

During Ramadan, people stay up late and many eat out to prepare for the fast the next day.

“Families were out and the place was crowded,” Hayder al-Khoei, a London-based Middle East expert, said.

A second deadly explosion struck the Al-Shahada Bridge area later in the morning, killing at least 11 people and wounding 41, according to security sources and witnesses.

A car bomb there exploded near the country’s main pension office close to the River Tigris.

Ibrahim al-Zararee, writing on Twitter, said he was close to both attacks.

“I was near the site of the explosion [in Karrada a] few hours before it happened and it was full of life. Now it’s full of death and horror,” he said. “Today I was few seconds away from [the blast on Al-Shahada Bridge]. The explosion today was near the General Retirement Department, a walking distance from the famous Mutanabi Street.”

No group immediately claimed the second bombing, though it also bore the hallmarks of IS.

Brett McGurk, US special envoy to the anti-IS coalition, tweeted after the first attack: “IS terrorists tonight in Baghdad target children and families enjoying time together at an ice cream shop. We stand with Iraq against this evil.”

The attacks in Baghdad come as Iraqi forces fight to retake the last IS-held areas of Mosul, a city that was the group’s most emblematic stronghold.


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