Nineteen people were killed Saturday in a series of attacks and car bombings in Baghdad, the Associated Press reported. The bombings injured at least 53 people in Baghdad and the surrounding area, with the deadliest attack killing nine and injuring 24.
The car bombings took place on a commercial street, at a bus stop and near a row of restaurants. A bomb also exploded in an outdoor market.
The deaths were confirmed to the Associated Press by hospital officials, whose names were withheld because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press.
The attacks weren’t immediately claimed by any particular group. Car bombings in Iraq occur on a regular basis, and ISIS generally claims responsibility. ISIS has made striking advances in recent years and is known for being particularly brutal.
ISIS was originally an affiliate of al Qaeda in Iraq. The current leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took control of the group in 2006 after the death of the former leader, Abu Musab al-Zurqawi. In 2011, the group moved to Syria to attempt to gain power and take advantage of the Syrian conflict.
The “core” operations of al Qaeda reportedly cut ties with the al-Baghdadi affiliate in 2013, and the group renamed itself from al Qaeda Iraq to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to more accurately describe its regional reach, ABC News said. By 2013, ISIS had extended its reach back into Iraq. ISIS militants have since been making advances toward Baghdad and in 2014 had captured the city of Mosul, which is the second largest city in the country and 60 miles north of the Baghdad.
The U.S. and coalition forces' strategy to fight the terrorist group remains incomplete, the Obama administration has said; however, it was announced earlier this year 450 U.S. soldiers would be sent to train Iraqi fighters.