Car bombs kill 14 in central Baghdad: security sources

This post was originally published on this site

Two car bombs killed at least 14 people and wounded 50 others in streets packed with crowds preparing for the Ramadan fast early on Tuesday, security sources said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the first blast just after midnight (2100 GMT Monday) that killed at least 13 people and wounded 40 in the commercial Karrada district.

A few hours later, a second bombing killed one person and wounded 12 more near a government office in Karkh district. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attackers struck during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when many people stay up past midnight and eat out to prepare for the next day’s fast.

Karrada was hit by a massive truck bomb in July 2016 that killed at least 324 people, the deadliest attack in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003.

Islamic State has been retreating in Iraq since the end of 2015 in the face of U.S.-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Shi’ite paramilitary groups.

It is now besieged in an enclave in the northern city of Mosul, which it has used as its de facto capital in Iraq. Islamic State declared a “caliphate” over parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Paul Tait and Andrew Heavens)