20 July 2017
English Arabic

ISIS Blasts Kill Dozens at Family Gatherings, This Time in Iraq

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 23:39
After the explosion near the pension office. Credit Karim Kadim/Associated Press After the explosion near the pension office. Credit Karim Kadim/Associated Press

The details are eerily familiar: a family outing, a suicide bomber, more than a dozen people — many of them children — killed in an attack later claimed by the Islamic State.

An explosion early Tuesday at an ice cream parlor in Baghdad shared many of the same heart-wrenching characteristics of last week’s attack at an arena in Manchester, England. And that was just the start of the violence on Tuesday in a city where these kinds of terrorist attacks have actually been on the decline this year.

First, the Islamic State targeted the popular Al Faqma shop in the central Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad, where families had gathered to celebrate iftar and break their daylong fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

On most nights during Ramadan, when temperatures can top 100 degrees, families can be found under the shop’s water-misting fans, eating ice cream from wafer cups.

That nightly respite was abruptly ended on Tuesday, just after midnight, when Islamic State militants remotely detonated a car that had been rigged with explosives and parked near the shop, the Iraqi authorities told reporters. Closed-circuit video captured the moment an enormous fireball erupted along a busy thoroughfare.

The bombing killed 17 people and wounded 32 others, according to the authorities. Of the victims, three were children, ages 4, 6 and 8.

“We were expecting to be targeted sooner or later because Karrada had been the favorite area for terrorists to implement their attacks,” said Mustafa Aljibour, the shop’s manager. “This ice cream shop has been a place for all Iraqis no matter where they are from. It was turned from a very beautiful place into a dark hell.”

Videos posted to social media after the attack show a scene of chaos, with bodies strewn across the shop’s colorful benches. In one, a little girl walks seemingly dazed through the carnage.

Hours later, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, struck again at the heart of Baghdad — this time during the evening rush on Tuesday, as people were finishing their shopping before the iftar feasting. Fourteen people were killed and 34 were wounded when a bomb went off outside a government pension office.

Photographs taken after the attack show the charred wreckage of burned-out automobiles and a watermelon seller’s destroyed goods.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in two posts to a social media channel the group typically uses.

Even as ISIS has lost territory in Iraq, it has increased the intensity of its strikes, often against Shiite civilians. (On Tuesday, the group confirmed that it had chosen its latest targets because they were known gathering places for Shiites.)

Later on Tuesday, as word spread of four more attacks throughout the country, mourners, many of them women, were seen at the sites of the two Baghdad attacks.

 Source: nytimes.com

EIFA WARNS ABOUT GROWING PRESENCE OF SEC...

EIFA - Press releaseThere are alarming and escalating reports about the presence...

Exclusive: Biography and record of Hadi Farhan Abdullah al-Ameri

Exclusive: Biography and record of Hadi ...

-European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)- Hadi Farhan Abdullah al-Ameri, know...

Iraq: We must stop meddling by Iran and its criminal militias

Iraq: We must stop meddling by Iran and ...

Brussels, European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) press release - The continui...