At least 25 people died and 60 were injured on Monday after a homemade bomb exploded in a market in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, the day before Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice, when the site it was full of people shopping for the holiday.
Iraqi police captain Abdullah Al Huseini confirmed to Efe the 25 deaths so far. In addition, he claimed that the explosion also caused damage to the market. Other press vehicles reported that the attack has left more than 35 dead.
The explosion took place in a market located in the populous neighborhood of Sadr City, east of Baghdad and with a majority Shiite, a stronghold of the followers of the influential cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and which has been the target of numerous attacks in recent years at the hands of radical Sunni groups , such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
This is the third time this year that an explosion has hit the Sadr City neighborhood. In January, a double suicide bombing killed at least 32 people in a market in central Baghdad.
The Iraqi government’s Security Intelligence Cell said the Baghdad Police Command had opened an investigation into the circumstances of the explosion, described as a “terrorist attack”. The cell did not provide an official number of deaths and injuries, nor did it point to the possible perpetrators of the attack.
For his part, Iraqi President Barham Salih described the incident as a “heinous and cruel crime” perpetrated against civilians on the eve of Eid: “They don’t want the people to enjoy for a moment, safely and happily” , said in a statement.
“We will not be at ease until we eliminate the heinous and cowardly terrorism from its roots,” he added.
Attacks in Baghdad are common during Muslim holidays, though they have been less frequent since the military defeat of the jihadist group Islamic State in 2017, when it was expelled from most of the territories it controlled in Iraq.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for today’s explosion.