Death toll rises in deadly Baghdad bomb attack

  • 05/07/2016
People help move victims away from a deadly bomb blast in Baghdad (Getty)
People help move victims away from a deadly bomb blast in Baghdad (Getty)

The death toll from the weekend bombing in Baghdad has climbed to at least 200, making it the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital in years.

The suicide truck bomb blast also injured around 200 people.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which came despite a series of recent gains against the extremists, including the capture of Fallujah.

Reports say the dead include dozens of children. Police and health officials say the death toll is likely to increase as rescuers are still looking for missing people.

The bomb went off shortly after midnight. It was targeted at Shi'ite Muslims in the central Karada district, a commercial hub of clothing and jewellery stores, restaurants and cafes.

It was crowded with shoppers ahead of Wednesday's Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of Ramadan.

Most of the victims were inside a multi-story shopping and amusement mall, where dozens burned to death or suffocated, police said.

It was the deadliest attack in Iraq since July 2015 and among the worst single bombings in more than a decade of war and insurgency.

Firefighters and civilians could be seen carrying the dead away, their bodies wrapped in blankets and sheets.

Smoke billowed from the shopping centre, which was surrounded by the twisted and burned wreckage of cars and market stalls.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, a roadside bomb went off in the mostly Shiite Shaab neighbourhood, killing five people and wounding 16, police said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.