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Two suicide bombings in central Baghdad kill at least 20 people

Two suicide bombings in central Baghdad kill at least 20 people

At least 20 people were killed in two suicide bombings Thursday in central Baghdad, according to the Iraqi authorities, in an attack that has not witnessed the strength of the Iraqi capital for more than 18 months.

Two suicide bombings in central Baghdad kill at least 20 people

The attack took place in the bale market in Tayaran Square, which is often crowded with pedestrians, which three years ago witnessed a suicide bombing that killed 31 people.

As in 2018, the assault comes at a time when the authorities are discussing the organization of legislative elections, a entitlement often accompanied by violence in Iraq.

"There was a double terrorist attack by two suicide bombers who detonated themselves when the security forces pursued them in the Bab al-Sharqi district in Baghdad on Thursday morning," said the media spokesperson for the Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, Yahya Rasoul.

The Interior Ministry stated that the two explosions killed at least 20 people and injured 40 people.

The ministry stated that a man detonated his explosive belt among vendors and passers-by in the market. As a number of people were gathering, another suicide bomber blew himself up.

The explosion was heard all over the capital. And reporters at the Agence France-Presse reported that a number of ambulances had arrived, while soldiers were deployed in the square heavily, and a number of them were helping the ambulance teams.

No party has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. ISIS, which for years controlled large parts of Iraq, used this method in several areas. The Iraqi forces succeeded in eliminating the organization at the end of 2017 after bloody battles. But cells from it are still active in some areas far from cities. They target from time to time military sites in those areas.

The recent attacks that caused a large number of deaths in Baghdad date back to June 2019.

The political authorities are currently proposing to postpone early elections scheduled for June to October in order to allow time for the electoral commission to organize them. The decision remains pending a vote in Parliament to dissolve itself.

Also, the attack comes at a time when the United States began to reduce the number of its soldiers in Iraq to 2,500 personnel. US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller attributed the decision to withdraw to "the increasing capabilities of the Iraqi army."

He said that this reduction "does not mean a change in the policy of the United States," noting that "the United States and the coalition forces remain in Iraq to confirm the permanent defeat" of the Islamic State.

But this withdrawal also came in light of the escalation of tension in Iraq between Shiite groups loyal to Iran and Washington since the assassination of the head of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, last year in an American air strike at Baghdad airport.

And American interests came under attack. While the Iraqi parliament called for the withdrawal of American soldiers.

The United States has led an international coalition since 2014 in Iraq to combat ISIS.

Most of the forces participating in the coalition from other countries left the country at the beginning of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020.

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