At least 36 killed in bomb attacks in Baghdad

Baghdad, May 18 (IANS) Nearly 36 people were killed and 100 others injured on Tuesday in a series of bomb attacks targeting Shia neighbourhoods in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, security sources said.

One of the attacks occurred in the district of Shaab as a roadside bomb exploded in a crowded outdoor market.

The attack was then followed by an explosion by a suicide bomber after he detonated his explosive vest as people gathered to help victims from the first explosion, killing 15 more and wounding 37 others, a police source told Xinhua.

Saad Maan, Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) spokesman responsible for Baghdad’s security, put the death toll at 11 and 37 injured.

According to Maan, the suicide bomber was apparently a woman as indicated by the attacker’s body remains.

The attackers seem to have followed the age-old strategy of masterminding an initial explosion which attracted security forces and other people and then setting off another bomb in order to inflict heavier casualties.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the massive twin bomb explosions in the district of Shaab, adding that one of their suicide bombers hurled hand grenades at Shia paramilitary members, known as Hashd Shaabi, in the marketplace before detonating his explosive vest, according to the statement whose authenticity could not be independently verified.

The IS, however, denied that the suicide bomber was a woman.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi forces, ordered the detention of the top officer responsible for security in the district of Shaab for interrogation following the blast, according to a statement issued by Abadi’s office.

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