• Islamic State claimed early on Friday that two of its men blew themselves up in Tayaran Square
• A video taken from a rooftop and circulated on social media purported to show the second blast scattering people
Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in a crowded Baghdad market on Thursday, killing at least 32 people in Iraq’s first big suicide bombing for three years, authorities said, describing it as a possible sign of the reactivation of Islamic State.
Reuters journalists arriving after the blasts saw pools of blood and discarded shoes at the site, a clothing market in Tayaran Square in the centre of the city. Health authorities said at least 110 people had been wounded.
“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 who did not give his name.
Suicide 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.
“Daesh terrorist groups might be standing behind the attacks,” Civil Defence chief, Major General Kadhim Salman, told reporters, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
A video taken from a rooftop and circulated on social media purported to show the second blast scattering people gathered in the area. Images shared online, which Reuters could not independently verify, showed several dead and wounded.