Fri 16 April 2021:
A powerful explosion rocked a market in east Baghdad on Thursday, killing four people and injuring 17 others.
The car was parked at a busy second-hand equipment market in the mainly Shia district, police said.
The cause of the blast in the city’s Sadr City area, in the Habibiya neighborhood, was not immediately known. It sent a cloud of black smoke above the area. Shortly afterward, a crowd of people gathered around the wreckage of a charred car, indicating a possible car bomb. A fire engine was parked nearby.
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Five cars were also destroyed in the blast, the military-linked Security Media Cell reported.
The explosion was caused by an explosive device attached to a parked car at the market, Baghdad police said without providing further details.
Explosions in the Iraqi capital were once almost daily occurrences but have become less frequent in the past few years, particularly following the defeat of the Daesh group in 2017. In January, twin suicide bombings ripped through a busy market in the Iraqi capital, killing more than 30 people and wounding dozens.
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There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
Thursday’s attack comes during an election year, a time when tension between rival Iraqi political groups has often caused violence in the past.
The populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, after whom Sadr city is named and who commands a following of millions of Iraqis, counts among his enemies both ISIL and rival Shia parties with militias backed by Iran.
On Wednesday, separate violence linked to regional rivalries saw an explosives-laden drone target US forces at Iraq’s Erbil airport in northern Iraq and a separate rocket attack kill a Turkish soldier at a military base nearby.
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