It is the first attack of this kind in three years and it occurred in Tayaran Square, the same place where two other people detonated explosives in 2018. Authorities point to the Islamic State as responsible.
A man, in the middle of the Tayaran clothing market, yelled that he was sick. When a crowd was around him to help him, the suicide bomber activated his explosive belt. Shortly after, a second man detonated a device just like he had.
This was the double suicide attack that took place in Baghdad this Thursday, January 21, according to Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji, spokesman for the Joint Operations Command, which includes a number of Iraqi forces. At least 28 people died and another 73 were injured.
The attack took place in the Bab al-Sharqi commercial area in the city center. The Iraqi authorities attribute the attack to the Islamic State, although so far neither that nor any other armed group has claimed responsibility.
Iraqi security forces deployed their agents and blocked the main roads in the city to prevent possible further attacks, officials told Reuters.
This is the first suicide attack in the city in the last three years. The previous one occurred right in the same clothing market, on January 15, 2018, when then-Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi declared victory over the Islamic State, despite the fact that the armed group is still present in the north of the country. On that occasion, it was also a double suicide attack. Before, these kinds of attacks were common, especially due to the US invasion of Iraq between 2003 and 2011.
Now the context is deep social discontent. Since October 2019, there have been multiple protests in Iraq against what they consider to be a corrupt political system responsible for poverty rates. Even in the same Plaza Tayaran there were demonstrations last Wednesday that left at least five dead, deaths that are added to the more than 450 that have occurred since the beginning of the protests more than a year ago.
With AP, EFE and Reuters