The Fiji Times »Car bomb explosion kills four in Baghdad city of Sadr – police



BAGHDAD (Reuters) -Four people were killed and 20 injured in a car bomb on Thursday in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraqi police and medical personnel said.

The car was parked at a busy second-hand equipment market in the predominantly Shia Muslim neighborhood, police said.

An Iraqi military statement said the blast killed a civilian, injured 12 others and set several vehicles on fire. A second statement from the military said only one person, the driver, had died. Doctors in Sadr City put the death toll at four.

Black smoke rose from the market square after the explosion and ambulances rushed to rescue the injured, Reuters witnesses said. Police cordoned off the site of the blast shortly thereafter.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. It was the second deadly bomb attack to hit Baghdad this year after a suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State militants killed at least 32 people in a crowded market in January.

Large-scale bombings, once almost daily in the Iraqi capital, have come to a halt in recent years since the defeat of Islamic State fighters in 2017, as part of an overall improvement in security that has brought life back to normal in Baghdad.

The January explosion was the deadliest in three years.

Thursday’s attack comes during an election year, at a time when tensions between rival Iraqi political groups have often sparked violence.

Populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose town of Sadr is named after and which commands millions of Iraqis, counts among his enemies both the Islamic State and rival Shiite parties with militias backed by Iran.

Separate violence linked to regional rivalries on Wednesday saw an explosives-laden drone target US forces at Iraq’s Erbil airport in northern Iraq and another rocket attack killed a soldier Turkish in a nearby military base.



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