Suicide attacks kill 20 people in eastern Baghdad

Suicide attacks kill at least 20 people in eastern Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Suicide bombs at two marketplaces in Baghdad, one of them claimed by Islamic State, killed at least 20 people on Sunday, police and medics said, the latest in a spate of militant attacks in the Iraqi capital that have left dozens dead.

In the first blast, the attacker drove an explosives-rigged car into a large vegetable market in the mainly Shi'ite district of Jamila, and detonated it after security forces opened fire to try to stop the vehicle, police sources said.

A suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest blew himself up a few hours later at a market in the mostly Shi'ite Baladiyat district.

The first blast killed 13, and the second blast killed seven people. More than 50 were wounded.

Islamic State claimed carrying out the first attack in an online statement, saying the bomber had targeted "a gathering of Shi'ites" in Jamila.

A series of attacks in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities have killed more than 80 people in just over a week.

Several have been claimed by the Sunni extremist Islamic State, which is coming under increasing pressure from a U.S.-backed offensive in Mosul, its last major stronghold in Iraq.

Iraqi forces advanced to within several hundred meters of the Tigris river than runs through Mosul on Saturday, as their operation against the militants gathers pace.

Islamic State is likely to resort to bomb attacks and similar tactics elsewhere in Iraq as it is driven out of its Mosul stronghold.

© SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images Iraqis are reflected in a puddle as they inspect the site of an attack at Baghdad's main vegetable market on January 8, 2017. A suicide bomber blew up a car at the entrance of the market, killing at least 11 people

ISIS claims 2 suicide bombings in Baghdad; 16 people killed

ISIS has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings at crowded Baghdad markets on Sunday, killing 16 people.

The attacks happened the same day anti-ISIS forces advanced on the terror group's stronghold in Mosul.

Iraqi troops advance in Mosul as PM vows ISIS defeat
The first blast happened when a driver blew up his explosives-laden vehicle at the Alwat-Jamila market in eastern Baghdad's Sadr City. At least 11 people were killed and 25 were wounded, police said.

In the second attack, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest blew himself up at a busy market in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of al-Baladiyat, police said. At least five people were killed, and 12 were wounded.

ISIS' media wing, Amaq, claimed responsibility for both explosions in statements posted on Twitter. The statements said the bombings targeted Shiites.

Car bombs and roadside bombs are not uncommon in Baghdad, but in 2017, ISIS has already carried out several attacks across the capital and killed dozens of people.

Iraqi forces move in on Mosul
The latest wave of violence in Baghdad came as Iraqi counterterrorism forces reached the east bank of the Tigris River in eastern Mosul on Sunday, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah said in a statement.

Iraqi security forces on Sunday killed more than 125 ISIS militants in several neighborhoods in eastern Mosul, according to a statement released by Iraq's joint operations command.

Forty ISIS fighters were killed by counterterrorism forces as they were advancing toward the east bank of the Tigris River, the statement said, with the US-led coalition providing air support.

The Iraqi army, counterterrorism forces and fedral police have been battling ISIS in eastern Mosul since the second phase of the Mosul operation was launched about 10 days ago.

Their progress marks the first time Iraqi troops were able to reach the river since large-scale military operations to root out ISIS started in the Mosul area on October 17, 2016.


Suicide attacks kill 20 people in eastern Baghdad

Suicide bombs at two marketplaces in Baghdad, one of them claimed by Islamic State, killed at least 20 people on Sunday, police and medics said, the latest in a spate of militant attacks in the Iraqi capital that have left dozens dead.

In the first blast, the attacker drove an explosives-rigged car into a large vegetable market in the mainly Shi'ite district of Jamila, and detonated it after security forces opened fire to try to stop the vehicle, police sources said.

A suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest blew himself up a few hours later at a market in the mostly Shi'ite Baladiyat district.

The first blast killed 13, and the second blast killed seven people. More than 50 were wounded.

Islamic State claimed carrying out the first attack in an online statement, saying the bomber had targeted "a gathering of Shi'ites" in Jamila.

A series of attacks in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities have killed more than 80 people in just over a week.

Several have been claimed by the Sunni extremist Islamic State, which is coming under increasing pressure from a U.S.-backed offensive in Mosul, its last major stronghold in Iraq.

Iraqi forces advanced to within several hundred meters of the Tigris river than runs through Mosul on Saturday, as their operation against the militants gathers pace.

Islamic State is likely to resort to bomb attacks and similar tactics elsewhere in Iraq as it is driven out of its Mosul stronghold.

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