Roadside bomb attack kills 18 in Baghdad market in Iraq.
A roadside bomb attack targeted a Baghdad suburb on Monday, killing at least 18 people and wounding dozens more in a crowded market, Iraqi security officials said.
The attack took place in the Wahailat market in Sadr City, the Iraqi army said in a statement. Two Iraqi security officials said at least 18 people were killed and dozens more injured in the powerful blast. They spoke on the condition of anonymity in accordance with regulations.
However, the explosion occurred a day before the Eid al-Adha holiday when the market was packed with shoppers looking for gifts and groceries.
Piles of goods lay on the ground after the explosion. Traders told security forces how the explosion occurred while they recovered what items they could.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but the Islamic State group has denounced similar attacks in the area before.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi arrested the commander of the federal police regiment responsible for the market area, the military statement said. He also said that an investigation was launched.
It was the third time this year that a bomb hit a market in a densely populated neighborhood in eastern Baghdad.
In June, 15 people were injured when a bomb placed under a kiosk in another Sadr City market detonated. In April, at least four people were killed in a car bombing in Sadr City. That explosion was caused by an explosive device attached to a car parked in the market.
Monday’s attack comes two months before federal elections are scheduled for October 10.
Large bomb attacks, once occurring almost daily in Baghdad, have slowed in recent years since ISIS was defeated on the battlefield in 2017.
However, the attacks persist. In January, more than 30 people were killed in a twin suicide bombing in a busy commercial area in central Baghdad. It was the deadliest attack in three years in the Iraqi capital.