The Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has been rocked by three successive bombings that claimed the lives of dozens of civilians, according to police sources and media. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the so-far deadliest of the attacks.
The car bombing attack in the city’s district of Sadr City killed at least 63 people and injured dozens of others, AP reported citing Iraqi officials.
An SUV rigged with explosives was parked near a beauty salon in a busy market in the Sadr City neighborhood, Iraqi police reported.
The bomb was detonated by a suicide bomber, a media outlet that sympathizes with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) reported.
The blast killed over 20 people on the spot while others succumbed to their wounds shortly after. At least 60 people were injured by the blast, and many remain in critical condition.
Shortly after the first blast, two more attacks were recorded in the city. One of them occurred in the Kadhimiya district of northern Baghdad – an area of the city considered a center of Shiite Islam. The attack claimed the lives of 18 people, Iraqi police and hospital officials told AP on condition of anonymity, adding that at least 34 people have been injured.
One more bomb that went off in the Sunni district of Jamiya killed seven and wounded at least 22 people.
The officials told Reuters that the death toll figures are likely to rise.
IS targeted Sadr City in February in a twin bombing attack, which claimed the lives of 70 people.
The group is ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim and considers Muslims adhering to other sects of Islam apostates and their enemies.
Sectarian violence remains one of the biggest security challenges in Iraq, since the US invasion of Iraq deposed its Sunni minority in power and installed a Shiite majority government.
Military officers and former officials of Saddam Hussein’s government, whose careers were ruined by the change of regime in Baghdad, were instrumental in Islamic State’s rise from a little-known Iraqi ally of Al-Qaeda to the most-publicized terrorist threat in the modern world.