Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Ahead of curfew ending, bombs kill 37 in Iraq's capital - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page
A member of the Iraqi security forces walks past the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad on February 7, 2015. (Reuters/Khalid Al-Mousily)

A member of the Iraqi security forces walks past the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad on February 7, 2015.
(Reuters/Khalid Al-Mousily)

Baghdad, AP—Ahead of Baghdad ending a decade-old nightly curfew, bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital Saturday, killing at least 37 people in a stark warning of the dangers still ahead in this country torn by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

The deadliest bombing happened in the capital’s New Baghdad neighborhood, where a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a street filled with hardware stores and a restaurant, killing 22 people and wounding at least 45, police said.

“The restaurant was full of young people, children and women when the suicide bomber blew himself up,” witness Mohamed Saeed said. “Many got killed.”

After the blast, bloody water mixed with olives and other debris from the restaurant as authorities tried to clean.

A second attack happened in central Baghdad’s popular Shorja market, where two bombs some 30 yards (25 meters) apart exploded, killing at least 11 people and wounding 26, police said. Another bombing at the Abu Cheer outdoor market in southwestern Baghdad killed at least four people and wounded 15, police said.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to brief journalists.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, though ISIS has launched attacks on Baghdad in the past. The extremist group now holds a third of both Iraq and neighboring Syria in its self-declared caliphate.

The attacks came as Iraq prepared to lift its nightly midnight-to-5:00 am curfew on Sunday. The curfew largely has been in place since 2004, in response to the growing sectarian violence that engulfed Iraq after the the US-led invasion a year earlier.

There was no immediate comment Saturday from Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, who announced the end of the curfew on Thursday by decree. He also ordered that streets, long blocked off for security reasons, reopen for traffic and pedestrians.

Iraqi officials repeatedly have assured that the capital is secure, despite Sunni militant groups occasionally attacking Baghdad’s Shi’ite-majority neighborhoods.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube