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Iraq: 32 dead, 110 hurt in Baghdad twin suicide attack by Daesh

22nd Jan 2021
Iraq: 32 dead, 110 hurt in Baghdad twin suicide attack by Daesh

By Haydar Karaalp

BAGHDAD (AA)  At least 32 people were killed Thursday in a twin suicide attack, first such attak in three years, that rocked a busy commercial market in Baghdad, local media reported. Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bombers detonated explosives in an area near al-Tayaran Square that left 110 others wounded, according to the Iraqi News Agency.

Maj. Gen. Yahya Rasool, the spokesman for the Iraqi army, said earlier in a statement that “suicide bombers were being pursued by the security forces before blowing themselves up in Tayaran Square in Baghdad.”

The Interior Ministry said one suicide bomber claimed he was sick and needed help, and blew himself up when people gathered in response to his call.

According to witnesses, security forces intensified their presence and strict measures were taken in the vicinity of the heavily fortified Green Zone, in the center of Baghdad, to secure the headquarters of foreign diplomatic missions.

The attack comes as Iraqis prepare for elections in June. The 2018 terrorist attack took place a few months before last round of parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi had originally set this year’s general election for June, nearly a year ahead of schedule, in response to widespread protests in 2019.

But authorities are in talks over rescheduling them to October, to give electoral authorities more time to register voters and new parties.

Iraqi President Barham Salih said, “dark groups” aimed to target national achievements and the peace and future of the Iraqi people with the attacks.

“We firmly stand against these attempts to destabilize our country,” added Salih.

Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesperson Khaled Mehanna told a local television station that the ISIS/DAESH terror group was behind the attack.

“Although Daesh does not claim responsibility for the explosion, it still wanted to convey the message that it still exists,” he said.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the Baghdad attack and appealed to the Iraqi people “to reject any attempts to spread fear and violence aimed at undermining peace, stability and unity,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.The UN chief called on the Government “to ensure that those behind these horrific crimes are swiftly identified and brought to justice,” Dujarric said.

*Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg, Zehra Nur Duz and Mahmoud Barakat in Ankara​​​​​​​

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: A view of the explosion site is seen after twin suicide bombing at al-Tayaran Square in Baghdad, Iraq on January 21, 2021.  Photographer: Murtadha Al-Sudani/AA]

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