BAGHDAD, July 3 (UPI) — The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an explosion late Saturday that killed more than 90 people in the heart of Baghdad’s busiest shopping area. The number of dead is expected to rise.
The suicide bombing is reportedly the deadliest single attack in the city of Baghdad this year.
A car bomb exploded near a shopping area and restaurant late in the day in the central District of Karrada while the streets were filled with shopping families breaking their fast after sundown as part of the holy month of Ramadan, BBC reported. Some reports said the bomb was made from a refrigerator filled with explosives.
At least 160 were reported injured.
The terrorist group, in a statement that has not been independently verified, took responsibility and said it purposely targeted Shia muslims, Sky News reported.
A second blast after midnight reportedly killed five more. No group has claimed responsibility for the second attack.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the blast scene early Sunday and was met by an angry crowd yelling at him and calling him a thief.
The bombings near Baghdad come after the Iraqi army fully liberated the city of Fallujah from IS on June 25.
Two years ago, IS reportedly controled nearly one-third of Iraq. The militant group now controls just 14 percent, Abadi said.
The bombing took place just after IS claimed responsibility for the attack on a cafe in Bangladesh that left 20 dead, some hacked to death with knives and swords, the New York Times reported. It also occurred just days after a coordinated suicide attack in Istanbul’s main airport that left 40 dead. IS did not claim responsibility but the Turkish government blamed the extremist group.