Truck bomb kills dozens in Baghdad

  • 14/08/2015
Truck bomb kills dozens in Baghdad

A truck bombing claimed by the Islamic State group has killed at least 54 people in a Shi'ite-majority area of Baghdad, the deadliest single attack in the city in months.

Authorities said the blast on Thursday was likely aimed at undermining confidence in the government and stoking sectarian tensions.

It came after the outgoing US army chief warned that reconciliation in Iraq is becoming increasingly difficult and that the country may ultimately have to be partitioned.

The bomb went off in a wholesale vegetable market in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad at peak time for shoppers buying produce.

Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said the bombing killed 54 people and wounded 100.

Medics collected human remains at the scene of the blast, an AFP photographer said.

The bombing devastated the market, ripping through buildings, killing horses used to transport vegetables and burning vehicles.

IS claimed responsibility for what it termed the "blessed operation" in a statement posted online.

IS frequently targets members of Iraq's Shi'ite Muslim majority, whom it considers heretics, often striking in areas where crowds gather, such as markets and cafes, in a bid to cause maximum casualties.

The acting head of UN's Iraq mission, Gyorgy Busztin, issued denounced the attack in a statement saying it was "an indiscriminate act of terrorism aimed at weakening the resolve of the Iraqi people".

The United States also condemned the blast and other recent attacks, saying in a statement that "these atrocities show once again the utter disregard (IS) has for innocent civilians."