Multiple terror attacks across Iraq have put the spotlight on the danger posed by the Islamic State to the Gulf country. The ISIS has claimed responsibility for three of them. At least 51 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in these attacks.
The IS has claimed responsibility for attack in Baghdad mall killing 18 people and injuring at least 40 more. The attack included car bombs and gunfire in a crowded area, the insurgents attacked a shopping mall with hand grenades and explosive belts targeting the Shia Muslims.
There were six assailants in all, two of which were killed by the Iraqi officers while the other two blew themselves up. Terrorists stormed the al-Jawhara shopping centre in Baghdad al-Jadida after setting off the car bomb. These gunmen killed five people while storming into the mall and later six more was killed when the Iraqi forces which entered the mall provoked the assailants to detonate explosive belts. According to the police, the attackers used hand grenades inside the mall to kill people and later hold them hostage. The car bomb attack was near the mall which is a predominantly Shi’ite district of Baghda Jadida killing Seven people, including two policemen, police and medical sources said.
In a separate attack on the same day, another car bomb in southeast Baghdad exploded, killing five people in a market area and injuring 12 others. Another car bomb also later went off in the eastern town of Muqdadiya killing 23 people and wounding several more. “People started running into the shops to hide, but (the militants) followed them in and opened fire without mercy,” said Hani Fikrat Abdel Hussein, a local from the region.
These bombings have left the largest death toll in the last three months. Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan blamed “this terrorist group after they suffered heavy losses by the security forces”, without naming ISIS in particular.
The IS is a Sunni Muslim jihadist group, which has control over large swathes of northern and western Iraq. In a statement on their website, the IS said that they had targeted “rejectionist heathens”- a derogatory term for Shias. This appears to be a settling of scores of kind after the organisation suffered defeat when the Iraqi forces managed to push the extremists out of the city of Ramadi.
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