At least 80 people have been killed and 160 injured after two huge bomb blasts in Baghdad this morning.
The bombings came near the end of the holy month of Ramadan when the streets were filled with young people and families out after sundown.
In the first attack, a car bomb exploded in the Karada district in central Baghdad. Shortly afterwards, an improvised explosive device went off in eastern Baghdad.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in the Karada district in a communique distributed on Telegram and Twitter, according to the Site Intelligence Group which monitors jihadi online activity. The communique said a suicide car bomber targeted Shiites.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the second bombing.
Nearly an hour after the attack in central Baghdad, ambulances could still be heard going to the site. An eyewitness said the explosion set off fires at nearby clothing and mobile phone shops.
The Baghdad attacks come just over a week after Iraqi forces declared the city of Fallujah ‘fully liberated’ from IS. Over the last year, Iraq forces have racked up territorial gains against IS, retaking the city of Ramadi and the towns of Hit and Rutba, all in Iraq’s vast Anbar province west of Baghdad.
Despite the government’s battlefield victories, IS has repeatedly shown it remains capable of launching attacks far from the front-lines.
IS still controls Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul as well as significant patches of territory in the country’s north and west.
At the height of the extremist group’s power in 2014, IS rendered nearly a third of the country out of government control. Now, IS is estimated to control only 14% of Iraqi territory, according to the office of Iraq’s prime minister.