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Twin Bombs Kill at Least 28 in Central Baghdad - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Two bombs claimed by ISIS terrorist ripped through a busy commercial street in Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 28 people and wounding at least 54, according to police and medical officials.

The blasts, including one suicide attack, took place early morning in al-Sinak, a busy market selling car accessories, food and clothes as well as agricultural seeds and machinery.

ISIS released a statement saying two of its militants had carried out the bombings wearing suicide vests.

The blast took place with the jihadist group being under pressure from an Iraqi army in the northern city of Mosul where government forces are trying to rout the jihadists from their last major stronghold in the country.

ISIS has continued to launch attacks in the heavily fortified capital, even after losing most of the northern and western territory it seized in 2014.

The recapture of Mosul would probably spell the end for ISIS’ self-styled caliphate, but the militants would still be capable of fighting a guerrilla-style insurgency in Iraq, and plotting or inspiring attacks on the West.

The second phase of a U.S.-backed offensive launched on Thursday following weeks of deadlock has encountered fierce resistance. Conventional U.S. forces deploying more extensively in this phase are now visible very close to the front lines.

The third day of the renewed push saw heavy clashes on the southeastern and northern fronts.

An elite Interior Ministry unit continued to push on Saturday through the Intisar district, where a U.S.-trained army unit had struggled to advance for after entering the southeast district last month.
Heavy gunfire was audible and attack helicopters fired overhead as hundreds of civilians fled their homes, a Reuters cameraman said.

In the north, a separate army unit pressed towards the border of Mosul proper after recapturing several outlying villages in the past two days.

The operation to free Mosul has been ongoing since Oct. 17. Since then, elite forces have retaken a quarter of Mosul in the biggest ground operation there since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said the group would be driven out of Iraq by April.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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