Nearly 30 people were killed Thursday by two suicide bombers who attacked a market in central Baghdad. It is the deadliest attack in three years in the Iraqi capital.
The attack comes less than a day after Joe Biden took office as President of the United States. The American country maintains troops in Iraq to fight the Islamic State terrorist group. There are currently around 2,500 military personnel in the country.
In Thursday’s attack, a man set off his explosives belt in the middle of a clothing market in Tayaran Square, the Interior Ministry said. As a crowd formed to try to help the victims, a second suicide bomber detonated his explosives. There were 28 dead and at least 73 injured.
Tayaran Square is a bustling place in Baghdad. Along with the explosions, pieces of torn clothes ended up on the streets.
Three years ago, at the same location, a similar attack killed 31 people. As in 2018, this attack comes as the Iraqi authorities discuss the organization of legislative elections, an event often accompanied by violence in Iraq.
Early elections for the formation of a new parliament have been promised by the government in June, but officials are now proposing a postponement to October to give the Election Commission more time to organize the vote.
However, many politicians say they doubt the holding of early elections, as it requires the dissolution of Parliament and, therefore, of the government. So far, no MP has given assurances that they will vote in favor of this dissolution, and only parliamentarians can decide.
The current government of the current Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Khadimi, took over in May 2020. In 2019, Iraq experienced a great wave of protests, which led to the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdir . Protesters accused politicians of driving the country into economic chaos with corruption schemes.
The authorship of the attack on Thursday has not yet been claimed by any group. However, this pattern of attack was widely used by the Islamic State (IS), which came to occupy nearly a third of Iraq from 2014, but lost almost all of the territory it controlled.
After the defeats, ISIS cells took refuge in the mountainous and desert regions of the country. In recent months, ISIS has only taken responsibility for small-scale attacks in the country, usually carried out at night, against military positions far from cities.
The United States is reducing the number of its troops in Iraq. According to the Pentagon, the change is due to the increased power of action of the Iraqi military, but that does not mean that the United States and the coalition fighting ISIS will stop acting until they have confirmation that ISIS’s defeat was final. .
The reduction of American troops is due to an agreement signed between the two countries to this effect. And Washington also intends not to maintain permanent military bases in Iraq.
The United States has led an international coalition that has been active in Iraq since 2014 to fight ISIS. However, almost all of the troops of other coalition members left the country in 2020, due to the pandemic.