At least 32 people were killed and more than 100 injured by a double suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital on Thursday morning (January 21).
The Islamic State Group (IS) released a statement saying the target had been Shia Muslims. It was the biggest suicide attack in Baghdad for three years.
The attackers blew themselves up in a busy second-hand clothes market in Tayaran Square.
The last deadly suicide attack in Baghdad was in the same square in January 2018, when 35 people were killed.
The first bomber rushed into the market and gathered a crowd around him by claiming to feel sick before he detonated his device, an interior ministry statement said.
The second bomber blew himself up as others came to help those wounded by the first attack.
Such attacks have become rarer since IS’s battlefield defeat. Despite that, a UN report last August estimated that more than 10,000 IS fighters remained active in Iraq and Syria.
“One (bomber) came, fell to the ground and started complaining ‘my stomach is hurting’ and he pressed the detonator in his hand. It exploded immediately. People were torn to pieces,” said a street vendor speaking to Reuters.
Pope Francis, who plans to visit Iraq in March, sent a message to Iraqi President Barham Saleh, “deploring this senseless act of brutality”.
The US, EU and UN also deplored the attack