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Saturday 22 July 2017

27 killed in bomb blasts on day of carnage in Baghdad

The scene of a car bombing near an outdoor market in Baghdad, Iraq (Karim Kadim/AP)
The scene of a car bombing near an outdoor market in Baghdad, Iraq (Karim Kadim/AP)

Several attacks in and around Baghdad have killed at least 27 people on a particularly brutal day in the Iraqi capital.

A suicide bomber targeted shops and food stands near a bus station in the city's Bab al-Muadam area after nightfall on Thursday, killing 11 and leaving another 22 people injured.

Earlier in the day, bombings elsewhere in and around the city killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens more.

No-one immediately claimed responsibility for any of the attacks but they bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which has carried out a string of bombings in Baghdad over the past week, killing nearly 100 people.

In one of Thursday's attacks, a car bomb tore through a market, killing nine people, while four other attacks - mostly by bombs that went off in commercial areas or targeted security forces - killed at least seven.

In the market attack, the car bomb was parked near outdoor fruit and vegetable stalls in a mostly Shiite neighbourhood and two policemen were among the dead.

IS has managed to carry out a series of attacks across Iraq while also putting up stiff resistance in the northern city of Mosul, where Iraqi forces have been waging a massive offensive since mid-October to retake the city.

Mosul is the extremist group's last major urban bastion in the country, and Iraqi forces have retaken around a quarter of the city since the offensive began.

Iraq announced a new operation on Thursday to recapture IS-held towns near the Syrian border.

Maj Gen Qassim al-Mohammadi said the troops would try to dislodge IS from Rawah, Anah and Qaim, towns in the western Anbar province that fell to the extremists in the summer of 2014.

Iraqi forces drove IS from the two main cities of Anbar - Ramadi and Fallujah - last year.

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