Dozens of people were injured and killed by a pair of suicide bomb blasts in Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, in what an Iraqi official described as an attack by the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.
TRT World, a Turkish state-media site, tweeted a video purporting to show the attack. “This video shows the moment the second bomb went off in a local market in Iraq’s Baghdad. The death toll has risen to at least 28,” the post said.
Casualty estimates from the bomb blasts have continued to rise Thursday. The Associated Press reported Iraq’s health minister Hassan Mohammed al-Tamimi most recently announced at least 32 people were killed in the twin blasts and another 110 people were wounded. Al-Tamimi said all hospitals in Baghdad were mobilized to treat those injured in the attack.
Pictures of the attack also circulated on social media Thursday.
One Twitter user tweeted, “Very busy market known as Tayar Square, which opened after covid eased there, May Allah Grant The 28 People Who have Passed Away The Highest Ranks In Jannah And The 70+ Injured Shifa.”
Iraqi military spokesman Yehia Rasool confirmed the attack in a tweet. Rasool said, “On Thursday morning, a terrorist attack was carried out by two suicide bombers who detonated themselves when pursued by security forces in the Bab al-Sharqi area in Baghdad. The attack resulted in the martyrdom and the injury of several civilians. More details to follow.”
Aurora Intel tweeted a different video angle, purporting to show one of the bombing attacks.
Maj. Gen. Tahsin al-Khafaji, a spokesman for the Joint Operations Command in Iraq, said the first suicide bomber ran out into the middle of a busy market and called out that he was ill, drawing crowds of people to draw near before he detonated his suicide vest.
Al-Khafaji said the second bomber detonated his suicide vest moments later.
“This is a terrorist act perpetrated by a sleeper cell of the Islamic State,” al-Khafaji said.
Al-Khafaji said ISIS was motivated to carry out the attack to prove the group still stands after having suffered a series of defeats from counterterrorism operations to stop the group.
Thursday’s attack represented the first bombing in three years against Baghdad’s commercial area, according to the Associated Press. The last attack on the commercial district took place in 2018 after then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared victory over ISIS.
While ISIS has suffered territorial defeats in recent years, including the loss of its last territorial stronghold in Baghuz, Syria in 2019, but has continued to persist. The terror group has reportedly made the Hamrin Mountains of northeast Iraq their new stronghold in the country in recent months.