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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Suicide Bombings Kill at Least 124 in Baghdad

by VOA News July 03, 2016

Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi met with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones in Baghdad after two separate early morning bombings in Baghdad killed at least 124 people and wounded at least 186 others. The officials discussed how the two countries can better collaborate in the fight against Islamic State (IS).

A suicide truck bombing Sunday occurred shortly after midnight at a busy shopping area, killing at least 119 people and wounding 170 others. It was the most deadly attack in the Iraqi capital this year.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast in the Karrada district, saying Shi'ites were targeted. The jihadist group considers Shi'ites heretics.

In the second attack, an explosive device detonated in Baghdad's northern Shaab area, killing at least five people and wounding 16. No one has claimed responsibility for this attack.

Pope Francis delivered a prayer for the victims in Iraq and for a separate bombing Friday in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The pope told tens of thousands of worshipers in St. Peter's square he feels "closeness to the families of the victims" and asked those gathered to "pray together" for them.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the site of the bombing hours after the attack.

The attack came little more than a week after Iraqi forces ousted Islamic State militants from the city of Fallujah, just 50 kilometers west of the capital.

A second deadly blast occurred in eastern Baghdad, killing at least one person and wounding several others. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the second blast.

Latest high profile attack

This is the third major act of terrorism claimed by IS in a week, following the suicide attack Tuesday at Ataturk International Airport that killed more than 40 people, and the siege of a restaurant in Dhaka in which more than 20 people died.

Bangladeshi officials insist, however, the Dhaka attackers had no connection with Islamic State. The Bangladesh government has long maintained IS has no presence in the country.

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