A suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car Sunday at a vegetable market in eastern Baghdad, killing at least 13 civilians and wounding more than 50, police and medical sources said, the latest in a recent bout of violence claimed by ISIS group.
Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan said a member of the security forces spotted the car bomber as it drove through the district of Jamila and opened fire, but was unable to prevent him from detonating his vehicle outside Baghdad’s sprawling Shi’ite district of Sadr City.
ISIS claimed the attack in an online statement, saying the bomber had targeted “a gathering of Shi’ites” in the area.
A string of attacks in the Iraqi capital and other cities in the country have killed nearly 100 people in just over a week. The deadliest was last week when a suicide bomber in another commercial area in Sadr City killed 41 people and wounded 64 others.
Several have been claimed by ISIS group, which is coming under increasing pressure from a U.S.-backed offensive in Mosul, its last major stronghold in Iraq.
ISIS is likely to resort to bomb attacks and similar tactics elsewhere in Iraq as it is driven out of its Mosul stronghold.
The attack came a day after Iraqi government troops made fresh progress in their push to retake the northern ISIS-held city of Mosul, dislodging militants from new areas and for the first time approaching the Tigris River that divides the city.
The ISIS group seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, in the summer of 2014 as the militants swept over much of the country’s north and central areas. If successful, the retaking of the city would be the biggest blow yet to ISIS. Mosul is the largest remaining city in the self-declared ISIS “caliphate” spanning Iraq and Syria.