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.
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.