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Sunday, July 3

Over 20 feared killed in twin blasts in Baghdad; death toll expected to rise UPDATED 12:20, 12:50 PM, 11:58 PM EDT

UPDATE
The death toll is now officially 147 but the number will continue to rise as more bodies are pulled from burned-out buildings. See The New York Times and for latest news on the incident and the unfolding political repercussions.

UPDATE
From CNN video report: 500 Iraqis have been killed this year from terror attacks.   
Latest CNN update 12:22 PM EDT
For the third time in a week terrorists carried out a mass slaughter of civilians - with ISIS claiming responsibility for each attack.
The deadliest terror attack killed 125 people, including 25 children, Saturday evening in a busy shopping district in Baghdad.
Families had gathered there to break the Ramadan fast and watch the Euro 2016 soccer tournament in a cafe when a suicide car bomb exploded, ripping through a multi-level building that also housed stores and a gym.
At least 147 were injured.

A second bomb exploded Sunday at an outdoor market in the Shaab neighborhood of southeastern Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five others, police said

UPDATE
The death toll is currently 126. From CNN's latest update (10:13 AM EDT):
The first detonation occurred Saturday on a busy shopping street in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Karrada, killing 125 people -- including 25 children -- and wounding 147 others, police said.
Firefighting crews pulled injured and trapped people from adjacent buildings damaged in the massive blast, including a coffee shop, stores and a gym.
The second bomb exploded at an outdoor market in the Shaab neighborhood of southeastern Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five others, police said.
CNN also reports 
Meanwhile, amateur videos posted on social media showed what appeared to be angry residents throwing objects at the convoy of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Karrada.
"Thief!" and "Get out!" protesters were heard yelling, as Abadi and other officials attempted to survey the bomb damage. Many are angry at the government's apparent inability to maintain security in the capital.
Baghdad has witnessed a surge in the number of deadly car bomb attacks in recent weeks, with ISIS claiming responsibility for many of them. ...
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Karrada, the upper middle class district of the Iraqi capital, is mostly inhabited by Shia but also has quite a large Christian minority. The area gets really busy after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.


I'm so used to reports of carnage in Iraq that terrorist attacks there barely register with me.  But recent terror attacks in other parts of the world have underscored the horrors in Iraq as well. The story is told again and again: on a lovely day or evening as people were going to market or to enjoy a night out with their families, their lives were shattered.

See RT site for photographs and video of the attack aftermath in Karrada. 

Over 20 feared killed, scores injured as two blasts rock Baghdad (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Published time: 2 Jul, 2016 22:41 Edited time: 3 Jul, 2016 04:05

RT

Two blasts have ripped through busy market areas in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing at least 23 people and injuring 61 others. The explosions targeted the Karrada and Sha'ab districts.

The explosion in Karrada killed at least 23 people and injured 45 others.

Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan confirmed that the first attack was a car bomb.

Eyewitnesses said on Twitter that many shops burned down in the explosion. There are also fears the number of casualties could grow.

Karrada, the upper middle class district of the Iraqi capital, is mostly inhabited by Shia but also has quite a large Christian minority. The area gets really busy after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.

Shortly after the explosion hit Karrada, eyewitnesses said there was a second blast that targeted the Shaab neighborhood, located in the northern part of the city.

AP said that at least five people were killed in this explosion and another 16 were injured. Meanwhile, Sky News Arabia said a suspected homemade explosive device was used to hit a market.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack in Karrada, Baghdad, BNO News reported.

The tactics also resemble Islamic State's signature, as the terrorists frequently choose Shia-populated civilian areas in the capital as their targets.

Iraqi security officials are attempting to restore control amid the state of panic existing following the attacks, Altaf Ahmad, a local journalist, told RT.

“Major roads leading to the venue of the explosion [in Karrada] have been cut off. We know that the car bomb that went off in the area that is known to be crowded at this time. After sunset, after the break of fast during the holy month of Ramadan many people start to go out . . . We are expecting that the number could rise to 100 casualties,” Ahmad said.

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