A rare twin suicide bombing killed 32 people and wounded 110 at a crowded market in central Baghdad yesterday, Iraq's health ministry said, the city's deadliest attack in three years.
The first attacker drew a crowd at the bustling market in the capital's Tayaran Square by claiming to feel sick, then detonated his explosives belt, the interior ministry said. As more people then flocked to the scene to help the victims, a second suicide bomber set off his explosives.
The open-air market, where second-hand clothes are sold at stalls, had been teeming with people.
An AFP photographer at the scene said security forces had cordoned off the area, where blood-soaked clothes were strewn across the muddy streets and paramedics were rushing to take away the casualties.
The health ministry said those who lost their lives had died on the scene of the attack, and that most of the wounded had been treated and released from hospital.
The attack was the bloodiest in Baghdad since January 2018, when a suicide bomber killed 30 people in the same square.
The attack was not immediately claimed but suicide bombings have been used by jihadist groups, most recently the Islamic State group.
They were commonplace in Baghdad during the sectarian bloodletting that followed the US-led invasion of 2003 and later on as the IS swept across much of Iraq and also targeted the capital. But with the group's territorial defeat in late 2017, suicide bombings in the city became rare.
President Barham Saleh led political figures in condemning yesterday's attack, saying the government would "stand firmly against these rogue attempts to destabilise our country".
Pope Francis, who hopes to visit Iraq in March, deplored the "senseless act of brutality".