At Least 126 Killed in Baghdad Bombings, Including Dozens Of Children

Illustration for article titled At Least 126 Killed in Baghdad Bombings, Including Dozens Of Children

At least 126 people—including an estimated 25 children—were killed in two separate bombings in Baghdad over the weekend, and the Islamic State has already claimed responsibility for the carnage.

The first explosion occurred on Saturday night, ripping through a popular shopping district in Karrada. According to CNN:

Families had gathered there to break the Ramadan fast and watch the Euro 2016 soccer tournament in a cafe when a suicide car bomb exploded, ripping through a multi-level building that also housed stores and a gym.

At least 147 were injured.

A second bomb exploded Sunday at an outdoor market in the Shaab neighborhood of southeastern Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five others, police said.

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The bombings came on the heels of the murder of 20 hostages in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and a few days after more than 40 were killed by bombs in Turkey’s main airport.

The combined assaults amount to the deadliest attack in Baghdad so far this year, and the first act of violence since Iraq retook Falluja from the Islamic State in late June. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the site of the bombing on Sunday morning, and was promptly pelted with rocks and shoes by the country’s enraged citizenry. As the Times reports:

Ali Ahmed, 25, who owns a shop close to where the attack happened, said he had carried the bodies of children out of the rubble. He voiced anger at the security forces for failing to stop the bomber, and questioned why the street, which had been closed off earlier in the evening, was reopened around midnight.

“Thank God I managed to hit Abadi with stones to take revenge for the kids,” he said.

The White House issued a statement following the attacks, saying that “We remain united with the Iraqi people and government in our combined efforts to destroy Isil,” using a different term for the group.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Image via AP.

Night blogger at Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

surprisehippopotamus
Surprise! Hippopotamus

I worked in Baghdad (development aid worker) for a few years, and these sorts of bombings with high death tolls were relatively commonplace. By the time I left, they were increasingly rare, and I truly believe as I boarded my last flight out of Iraq that things were on the upswing. My then-boyfriend (now husband) and I said maybe one day we’d be able to bring our future kids to Baghdad to meet our Iraqi colleagues and see where mom and dad had met, and the kids would never believe this had been such a dangerous place.

All the Iraqis I knew were good people with a great sense of humour and spines of steel who loved their families just as much as we do. One of my former colleagues just posted on Facebook a beautiful photo of a smiling man, woman, and young child. They were friends of his. The entire family was killed in the bombing.

I don't have any particular point except that I'm devastated for Iraq and its people. They deserve so much better.