Toll from Iraq’s twin bombings rises to 53

Baghdad, Feb 29 (IANS) The toll from twin bombings at a busy marketplace in Baghdad, claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, has risen to 53, an Iraqi interior ministry source said on Monday.

“The latest report about Sunday’s casualties is 53 killed and 117 others injured,” Xinhua quoted the source as saying.

A booby-trapped motorcycle went off at the crowded marketplace in the predominantly Shia district of Sadr city in the eastern part of the Iraqi capital, the source said.

Minutes later, a suicide bomber blew himself up with his explosive vest at the site, the source added.

The attackers apparently followed the old tactic of creating an initial explosion to attract security forces and people, and then setting off another blast to inflict heavier casualties.

Iraq currently witnesses a fresh wave of violence since the IS group took control of Iraq’s northern and western regions in June 2014.

Earlier, a UN report estimated that more than 22,300 people were killed or injured in armed conflicts in Iraq in 2015.

Many blame the current chronic instability, cycle of violence, and the emergence of extremist groups such as the IS on the US, which invaded Iraq in March 2003 under the pretext of seeking to destroy weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the country.

The US invasion led to the ouster and eventual execution of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, but no WMD was found.

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