BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Four bombs killed at least 32 people and wounded scores in busy districts of Baghdad on Sunday as Iraqis shopped and broke their fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, police said.
A car bomb exploded in a parking lot in central Baghdad’s busy Karrada shopping district. Almost immediately afterwards, a suicide bomber detonated a vest packed with explosives at the same spot, the Interior Ministry said, after investigating the scene. The double strike killed at least 19 people and wounded 72, police said.
A short time earlier a bomb exploded in a parked car in Baghdad’s Shurta neighborhood in the early evening, killing at least 12 people and wounding 35, police said. At about the same time another bomb attached to a car in the nearby Hay al-Amil neighborhood killed one person.
U.S. military officials say violence in Iraq is at four-year lows but some militant groups have stepped up attacks for the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims observe a daytime fast.
Streets crowded with Iraqis shopping for food before they break their fast have been a target for bombers. In Karrada, the streets were jammed with shoppers buying clothes and gifts ahead of a six-day public holiday beginning on Tuesday to celebrate the end of the fasting month.
“The insurgents … (want) to show there is no security in Baghdad,” the Iraqi government’s Baghdad security spokesman, Qassim Moussawi, told Reuters.
He said authorities expected militants to step up attacks in the capital, and that some were hard to stop, as bombs were being assembled inside the neighborhoods they were targeting, instead of passing through police checkpoints.
Despite better security in the capital, militants have shown they are still capable of carrying out large-scale attacks.
Earlier on Sunday, a roadside bomb in western Baghdad’s Mansour district killed one person and wounded three.