Attack by Islamic State, targeting Shiite Muslims, wounded more than 200 others
Iraqis chant slogans against Islamic State militants during a protest Thursday at the scene of Sunday’s massive truck bomb attack in Baghdad. ENLARGE
Iraqis chant slogans against Islamic State militants during a protest Thursday at the scene of Sunday’s massive truck bomb attack in Baghdad. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
By ALI A. NABHAN in Baghdad and KAREN LEIGH in Dubai
Updated July 7, 2016 9:46 a.m. ET
The death toll from the deadliest single car bombing in Baghdad since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 has reached at least 292 people, Iraq’s health ministry said Thursday.
The attack by Islamic State, which also wounded more than 200 others, struck the Iraqi capital’s busiest commercial areas early Sunday as shoppers and diners crowded the streets following the daily dawn-to-dusk fasting that marks the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. On Monday, authorities said 151 people had been killed in the blast.
Islamic State said its attack in the Karrada district targeted Shiite Muslims, whom it regards as apostates. It was the Sunni Muslim extremist group’s first major attack on the city since Iraqi forces ousted it from Fallujah in late June.
The loss of Fallujah continued a series of military losses for Islamic State in its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Those setbacks have led it to resort to guerilla-style tactics, including suicide bombings in Baghdad and other urban areas. The group still controls Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
The Karrada attack occurred despite supposedly high security in the upscale area. It exposed the government’s inability to uproot the militants despite battlefield gains and rekindled public anger over deteriorating security in the capital.
The leader of Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, visited the bomb site hours after the explosion and was jeered by crowds who threw shoes and rocks and called on him to resign. Earlier this year, Mr. Abadi was the focus of street protests demanding government reform.
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