Two car bombs, targeting two five-star hotels in Iraq’s capital Baghdad on Thursday, killed at least 10 people and injured 27, reports said Friday, citing local police officials. The latest attack comes as militants from the Islamic State group increasingly target civilians in Baghdad.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, but a report by the Washington Post said that if the Islamic State group carried out the attack, it would become the most high-profile hit against Baghdad.
The hotels hit by the explosion were put on lockdown, while investigators probed the incident, CNN reported. Iraq’s Interior Ministry also increased the security around other hotels in the city, which are popular among foreigners.
The first car bomb, which killed six people, exploded in the parking lot of the Babylon Hotel in the Jadriya neighborhood, which faces the U.S. embassy and Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone across the Tigris River, the Post reported. The hotel is run by Warwick International Hotels and the premises had recently reopened after renovation. Following the attack, pictures showed fire around the place while canopies that cover cars were seen in tatters, the Post reported.
The second attack, which killed four, targeted the Cristal Grand Ishtar, formerly known as the Sheraton Hotel. The hotel looks over the Tigris from the central neighborhood of Karrada. The Post reported that thick black smoke was seen rising from the hotel as ambulances reached the location.
The two hotels were also targeted in 2010 in a coordinated bomb attack. The offensive had also hit the Hamra Hotel, killing 36 people.
In February this year, a series of bombs exploded in Baghdad, killing 37 people, mostly civilians. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for all the five blasts.