A twin suicide bombing hit a police station in Baghdad’s westernmost suburb on Thursday, killing at least five policemen a day after a wave of attacks by the Islamic State group killed nearly a hundred people in the Iraqi capital.
The IS-claimed bombings were the deadliest in Baghdad this year, coming at a time of turmoil and deadlock in Iraq’s government and parliament. Funerals were underway Thursday for many of those who were killed in Wednesday’s bombings, which included a car bomb that struck a crowded outdoor market selling food, clothing and household goods in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City.
In Thursday’s attack, two suicide bombers hit the station in the western suburb of Abu Ghraib at dawn, according to a police officer.
The first bomber blew himself up at the station’s gate, followed by the second who detonated his explosives inside the building, the officer said. The explosion also left 12 policemen wounded.
A medical official confirmed casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release information.
The Sadr City bombing on Wednesday killed 68 people while two more car bombs elsewhere in Baghdad killed at least 30.
After the attacks, grieving relatives and family members lit candles at the scene of Sadr City bombing as calls came from mosques in Baghdad for blood donations. Many of the victims were being buried Thursday in the southern Shiite city of Najaf, where a sprawling cemetery is located near a shrine for a revered Shiite imam.
Although security has improved in the Iraqi capital, Wednesday’s attacks demonstrated the Islamic State’s ability to launch devastating assaults in tee hart of Baghdad. Back-to-back bombings on Feb. 28, also in Sadr City, killed 73 people.
IS extremists still control significant areas in northern and western Iraq, including the second-largest city of Mosul. Commercial and public places in Shiite-dominated neighborhoods are among the most frequent targets for IS militants who want to undermine government efforts to maintain security in the capital.
SOURCE: The Associated Press, Sinan Salaheddin