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BREAKING NEWS – Car bomb blast in Sadr City

Four people were killed and 20 wounded in a car bomb attack on Thursday in the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad, Iraqi police and medical workers said.

The car was parked at a busy second-hand equipment market in the mainly Shi’ite Muslim district, police said.

An Iraqi military statement said the blast had killed one civilian, wounded 12 others and set several vehicles on fire. A second statement by the military said only one person, the driver, had died. Medics in Sadr City put the death toll at four.

Black smoke rose from the market place after the blast and ambulances rushed to save the wounded, Reuters witnesses said. Police cordoned off the site of the blast shortly afterwards.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. It was the second big deadly bombing to hit Baghdad this year after a suicide attack claimed by Islamic State militants killed at least 32 people in a crowded market in January.

Large bomb attacks, once an almost daily occurrence in the Iraqi capital, have halted in recent years since Islamic State fighters were defeated in 2017, part of an overall improvement in security that has brought normal life back to Baghdad.

The January blast was the most deadly in three years.

Thursday’s attack comes during an election year, a time when tension between rival Iraqi political groups has often caused violence.

The populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, after whom Sadr city is named and who commands a following of millions of Iraqis, counts among his enemies both Islamic State and rival Shi’ite parties with militias backed by Iran.

On Wednesday, separate violence linked to regional rivalries saw an explosives-laden drone target U.S. forces at Iraq’s Erbil airport in northern Iraq and a separate rocket attack kill a Turkish soldier at a military base nearby.

Source: Reuters

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