UPDATE: 6:12 p.m. EDT — The death toll from two bombings overnight in Baghdad rose to nearly 120 with at least 200 wounded. One of the attacks, claimed by the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, was carried out in the busy shopping area of Karada while a separate explosion took place in eastern Baghdad.
Two separate bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad left dozens dead and more injured, officials said Sunday.
A car bomb hit the busy shopping district of Karada in central Baghdad at around midnight Saturday killing at least 78 people and wounding over 160, police and hospital staff reportedly said. A second improvised explosive device went off in eastern Baghdad that left five dead and 16 wounded.
Many of the victims were children, officials told Al Jazeera adding that the death toll could rise as more bodies could be lying under the rubble of buildings that were destroyed in the blast.
The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the Karada bombing in an online statement in which the group reportedly said it had deliberately targeted Shiite Muslims. The Sunni militant group's claim is yet to be verified.
The street was packed with shoppers after sundown during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Eyewitnesses said that the explosion caused fires at clothing stores and cellphone shops nearby, the Associated Press reported. Firefighters were still battling flames after dawn Sunday. Karada is largely a Shiite area with a small Christian community.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the Karada district a few hours after the attack. His convoy was reportedly attacked with stones. Video footage uploaded on social media showed people calling him a “thief.”
No group has claimed the second attack yet. The casualty figures were shared by police and medical sources who spoke anonymously to the press because they were not authorized to release information.
Last week, Iraqi officials announced that troops had defeated ISIS forces in Fallujah city after a month of fighting. Abadi ordered the offensive after a series of deadly bombings hit Shiite districts in Baghdad. ISIS, however, still controls Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul.