The death toll from a massive suicide bombing in Baghdad over the weekend has reached 292, Iraq's Health Ministry said on Thursday.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle in Baghdad's Karrada district early on Sunday as it teemed with shoppers ahead of the holiday marking the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, sparking infernos in nearby buildings.
Health Minister Adila Hamoud told that the bombing killed 292 people and wounded more than 200. It was the worst single car bomb attack in Iraq since US forces toppled former leader Saddam Hussein 13 years ago. The attack deepened the anger of many Iraqis over the weak performance of the security apparatus.
A police colonel and an interior ministry official both gave even higher death tolls for the attack.
Hamoud said that DNA testing would be required to identify more than half of the bodies and that the process was expected to take from 15 to 45 days, meaning that relatives of the missing may have to wait weeks to learn the fates of their loved ones.
The blast sparked widespread anger among Iraqis, some of whom have accused the government of not doing enough to protect them.
Iraq's interior minister resigned on Tuesday and said that a deputy would take over his responsibilities. Mohammed Ghabban made the announcement at a news conference in Baghdad. His resignation will be official only if Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi approves it. Abadi's office is yet to release a statement.