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ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb that exploded in a busy Baghdad market on Monday, killing at least 35 people, including a number of children, and injuring many more.
The attack came as Iraqis prepared for the three day Eid al-Adha festival, a time traditionally spent with family and visits to the mosque as part of religious celebrations.
The jihadist death cult targeted the suburb of Sadr City, named after the revered Shi’ite cleric Mohammed al-Sadr, the father of Muqtada al-Sadr, who continues to play a prominent role in Iraq’s religious and political affairs.
Iraqi President Barham Salih called the attack “a heinous crime” and offered his condolences to the victims.
“We will not rest before terrorism is cut off by its roots,” he said.
Neighbouring Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh condemned the attack and said that Tehran remained committed to joint anti-terror operations — it has forces based inside Iraq that have been supporting the government in the fight against Isis and other jihadist groups.
As security in the country deteriorates, with large swathes under the control of a variety of militia, many Iraqis are outraged at the government’s failure to keep them safe.
Mass protests have continued: a large demonstration at the weekend in the southern city of Basra expressed anger over the killings of anti-government activists and the failure to bring the perpetrators to justice.
A mass boycott of the forthcoming elections has been backed by a number of religious groups and political parties. Muqtada al-Sadr has also pulled his party out of October’s national poll, withdrawing his support for the current government and the one that replaces it.
After the 2018 elections his Saairun coalition was the largest grouping in the Iraqi parliament with 54 seats in the 329-seat chamber.
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