The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for an attack in a crowded Baghdad market on Thursday, killing at least 32 people in Iraq’s first big suicide bombing for three years, authorities said, describing it as a possible sign of the reactivation of Islamic State.
NPR reports that two suicide bombers detonated their vests when security forces pursued them through a busy market off Tayaran Square. Witnesses said the first cried out he was ill, causing a crowd to form around him in a street off the main square. He then detonated the #bomb he wore.
This type of attack, once horribly common in the Iraqi capital, has become rare since ISIS was largely defeated in the country in 2017. The last took place in January 2018, according to The Associated Press.
“Daesh terrorist groups might be standing behind the attacks,” Civil Defence chief Major General Kadhim Salman told reporters, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held an urgent meeting with top security commanders to discuss Thursday’s attacks, the premier’s office said in a brief statement. Iraqi security forces were deployed and key roads blocked to prevent possible further attacks.
Following the urgent meeting, Kadhimi sacked key security and police commanders, deputy interior minister for intelligence affairs, director of counter terrorism and intelligence in the interior ministry and commander of federal police forces, said a military spokesman in a statement.