DAESH suicide bombings kill 12 in Baghdad

As world powers gear up to drive DAESH out of the key city of Mosul in Iraq, the terrorist organisation has shown once again that it is capable of striking places outside its territory.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

In this file photo a DAESH fighter can be seen manning an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the rear of a vehicle in Mosul.

Twelve people were killed late on Friday in two suicide bombings claimed by DAESH at a shopping mall in eastern Baghdad, police and hospital sources said.

More than 40 people were wounded in the attack at Nakheel Mall across from the oil ministry, according to Reuters.

One bomb went off at the entrance to the mall, the other in the parking lot.

Unconfirmed amateur video published on Facebook showed what appeared to be four separate fires, including two cars engulfed in flames, under a highway overpass near the mall amid the wailing sirens of first responders.

The live Facebook stream had been viewed over 300,000 times in a couple of hours.

Amaq news agency, which supports DAESH, said in an online statement that two suicide bombers, one wearing a vest and the other in a car, had targeted "a gathering of Shi'ites" on Palestine Street.

But if the attacks had occured at a shopping mall then that means the target were mostly the people shopping ahead of the Eid festival. 

The fight against DAESH, which seized a third of Iraq's territory in 2014, has exacerbated a sectarian conflict in Iraq.

The militants have lost ground in the past year to US-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias, and Iraq is gearing up for an offensive next month to recapture the northern city of Mosul.

Yet such bombings show the group can still strike outside the territory its controls in northern and western Iraq.

A car bomb near a hospital in central Baghdad killed nine people on Monday, and another one down the road in July killed 324, one of the deadliest such attacks since the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein 13 years ago.

TRTWorld, Reuters