Wednesday 20 September 2017

Suicide car bomber kills 23 in attack on Baghdad

Destroyed cars are seen at the site of a bomb attack in the Amil area of Baghdad. Photo: Reuters/Stringer
Destroyed cars are seen at the site of a bomb attack in the Amil area of Baghdad. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

Murtada Faraj

A suicide car bombing in Baghdad killed at least 23 people yesterday and wounded 45 others, according to Iraqi officials.

The attack targeted a commercial area in Baghdad's southwestern Amil neighbourhood, police and hospital officials said.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to release information.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Isil group has been behind previous Baghdad bombings.

Iraqi forces have been battling the extremists in Mosul, the country's second largest city, since October. Iraq declared eastern Mosul "fully liberated" in January and is now fighting for the more densely populated western half.

Iraqi troops are closing in on Mosul's old city, where some of the fiercest fighting is expected to unfold.

Read more: Regime retakes suburbs of Damascus from rebels

The militarised Federal Police said it is 500 metres from al-Nuri mosque, where Isil leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a rare public appearance in July 2014, announcing a self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

The militants have suffered a string of defeats over the past two years, but have continued to regularly launch attacks in and around Baghdad.

A series of large-scale bombings claimed by Isil have struck Baghdad since the operation to retake Mosul began.

Iraqi and coalition officials have repeatedly warned that Isil will return to its insurgent roots as it loses territory.

Irish Independent

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