Iraqis light candles at the site of the explosion in a popular market in the mostly Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr City, east of Baghdad, on July 19, 2021.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 30 people and injured 50 more in a crowded market in Iraq’s capital on Monday.  According to health and security authorities, children and women were among the dead and injured. In Sadr City, a mainly Muslim Shia area in the east of Baghdad, the assailant detonated his explosive vest in the Wahailat outdoor market.

The explosion also damaged several businesses and establishments police said to Like many other public areas, the market was crowded with people getting ready to celebrate Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival. Women clutching their infants and crying as they leave the area are shown in videos posted on social media.

Iraqi security forces inspect the site of an explosion in Sadr City district of Baghdad, Iraq July 19, 2021. REUTERS/Wissam Al-Okaili

In a statement by interior ministry, it said the first bomber went into the market and drew a crowd around him by pretending to be ill.  

The news  agency Reuters, one stallholder said: “In his palm, he pushed the detonator. It erupted very instantly, shattering people.”  According to the ministry, the second bomber detonated his device as others arrived to assist the injured.

ISIS claimed credit for the explosion in a statement released hours after it occurred, claiming that it was carried out by a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest. The terror organization offered no proof to back up its allegation.

In a statement released on Monday, the Iraqi military stated that the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED). However, two police officers said that they have yet to identify the cause of the explosion since the investigation is still ongoing.

Ali Yassin, a Sadr City resident, said he had given up faith that Iraq would provide a secure environment for his four children to grow up. “There isn’t a day in Iraq that passes by without a terrible event,” Yassin told CNN.

“Why can’t we live in the same way as the rest of the world? Why can’t we have the same level of peace as the rest of the world?”  Yassin added, “If I had the financial means, I would leave Iraq immediately with my family,”

Top Iraqi government leaders, including the President and Prime Minister, denounced theterrorist assault” and promised to prosecute those responsible.

“We will not be at rest until we eradicate the vile and cowardly terrorists, and it is clear that the Iraqi people’s will is stronger than their crime and villainy,” President Barham Salih said in a statement issued by his office on Monday.

In a tweet on Monday, Col. Wayne Marotto, the military spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the worldwide coalition fighting the ISIS caliphate, expressed condolences to the victims’ families.

This horrible assault just before Eid Al-Adha serves as a sad reminder of the brutality Iraqi children continue to endure,” UNICEF Representative in Iraq Sheema Sen Gupta said in a statement on Monday.

“On the eve of Eid Al-Adha, as Iraqis grieve this tragic event, UNICEF urges on all players in Iraq to work together to make Iraq a safer place for children, where they do not have to live in fear and can enjoy their most fundamental activities and rights,” Gupta added.

A Marine Corps carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Marine Corp Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin, of Temecula, Calif., Monday, March 21, 2016, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.. According to the Defense Department, Cardin died March 19, 2016, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in northern Iraq, from wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his unit with rocket fire. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Iraqi President Barham Saleh led calls for the government to “fight forcefully against these unscrupulous efforts to destabilize our country.”

Mr. Saleh received a letter from Pope Francis, who intends to visit Iraq in March, “deploring this terrible act of violence.”

The assault was also condemned by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations.

The 2018 assault occurred only months before Iraq’s legislative elections, and another general election is scheduled for later this year.

The administration recently stated that the planned election will be postponed from June to October to provide officials more time to register voters and new political parties.

ISIS once controlled roughly a third of Syria and 40% of Iraq. It has lost 95% of its territory by December 2017, including its two most important assets, Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and Raqqa, Syria’s nominal capital.

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