Baghdad bombings kill over 200

Suicide car bomb targeted Karada district which was bustling with shoppers ahead of Eid, the festival which marks the end of Ramadan.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Destroyed cars at the site of a suicide car bombing in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016.

Updated Jul 4, 2016

Over 200 people have died as the death toll continues to rise after two bombs exploded in Baghdad on Sunday. 

A truck-refrigerator packed with explosives was blown up in the city’s central Karada district, killing at least 213 bystanders and wounding over 100. The area was packed as people thronged the markets ahead of Eid, the festival marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. 

The blast caused nearby buildings to catch fire. On Monday, emergency personnel and families of the victims were still searching for those who went missing following the explosion.

The attack sparked anger among Iraqis at the government's inability to keep them safe even as it fights DAESH. The public ire prompted Prime Minister Haideral-Abadi to announce efforts to address longstanding flaws in Baghdad's security measure.

A three-day national mourning period was announced as Abadi vowed to punish the perpetrators.

Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site of a suicide car bombing in the Karada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016.

The second bombing took place in the eastern district of Shaab, with reports differing over the number of deaths in the attack. Reuters reported at least two people were killed.

The figures were provided to media by Iraqi police and medical officials, some of whom requested anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the public.

People gather at the site of a suicide car bombing in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016

SITE Intelligence reported the DAESH terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the first attack in Karada on Twitter, saying it was targeting Shiites.

DAESH reportedly said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. 

A damaged vehicle of the Iraqi security forces is seen at the site of an earlier car bomb attack in Baghdad al-Jadeeda, an eastern district of the Iraqi capital, June 9, 2016.

The group has frequently carried out similar bombings in the Iraqi capital in recent months, mainly targeting Shiites and state security personnel, despite recent gains by Iraqi forces against the group in Fallujah.

Such bombings have led some experts to suggest that in the face of fierce military opposition the group may be shifting its tactics away from more conventional style warfare to terror attacks aimed at undermining the Iraqi state.

TRTWorld and agencies