More than 120 have been killed including 25 children and 20 women and about 147 have been injured and wounded in an explosion in Karrada district of Baghdad early Sunday morning, while busy shoppers preparing for the week’s celebration of ‘breaking the fast’ or Eid’l Fitr holiday, CNN reported.
On a televised phone interview on Monday with deputy head of the security committee of the Baghdad Provincial Council, Mohamed al-Rubaye said that the death toll from Saturday’s suicide bombing in Baghdad has risen to 200.
A truck laden with explosives was detonated outside the mall in the Karrada district of Baghdad which was rammed with shoppers. Most of them were inside the multi-storey amusement hall, where dozens burned to death or suffocated in thick black smoke.
The security committee in Baghdad Provincial Council Mohamed al-Robaie said “The toll in the bombing at Karrada in central Baghdad today morning has risen and so far 167 people have been proclaimed dead and the numbers of injured have reached to 180, the numbers are expected to rise further.” as Iraqi News reported on Sunday, July 3.
“Suddenly, a huge explosion took place on the other side of the street where I left my family,” said Muhammed Majeed Muhammed, 39, a government employee who was at the market with his wife and their two children.
“I thought, ‘I have lost them,'” Muhammed told NBC News.
“Fire and smoke were (so) heavy that it was very hard for me to open my eyes and search carefully.”
Then his cellphone rang, it was his wife telling she and the children were okay.
Firefighters rescued trapped and wounded people in the building. ISIS claimed responsibility of the attack and said it had deliberately targeted Shiite Muslims, according to The Associated Press.
The first blast happened in the city’s central Karrada district outside a local restaurant while the second explosion went off shortly afterwards in eastern Baghdad.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the Karrada district a few hours after the attack. And it happened when his convoy reportedly attacked with stones and people are calling him a “thief”, as shown in a video footage uploaded in social media.
A second bomb exploded at an outdoor market in the Shaab neighborhood of southeastern Baghdad on Sunday killing one person and wounding five others, where ISIS claimed it was targeting Shiite areas such as Karrada and Shaab.
The high toll made it the deadliest attack in the capital this year, and it comes after Iraqi forces managed to recapture Fallujah from ISIS last month. There were 2,735 civilians were killed in Iraq in the first six months of 2016 according to U.N. statistics.