Baghdad, deadly twin suicide kill at least 32

Baghdad, Iraq Baghdad, Iraq Photo by AbdElmomen Kadhim, on Pexels

21 January 2021

Two terrorists committed suicide in a commercial market in Iraq’s capital killing at least 32 people and injuring a 100 others.

On Thursday 21 January, two men blew themselves up in a market in Tayaran Square, killing 32 people and wounding at least 100 others. The first bomber entered in the crowded market and, claiming to feel sick, asked for help, causing people to gather around him before he detonated an explosive belt he was wearing. The second bomber drove to the scene on a motorbike and blew himself up among a small crowd on a street. Accordingly, security forces were deployed to block main streets to prevent further attacks. 

During the US occupation of Iraq following the 2003 invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein, suicide attacks were a daily occurrence in the Iraqi capital. However, there has been a reduction in recent years since Islamic State (IS) fighters were defeated in 2017. Indeed, the Iraqi government declared victory against IS however, the fighters are still organised in sleeper cells moving freely across the Syro-Irakian border while targeting security forces. Indeed, a UN report released in August 2020 estimated that at least 10,000 IS fighters are still active and a US report stated that IS is still relying on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in its attacks. 

According to the BBC, this bombing was the first since January 2018, when an attack in the same square killed 35 people. This time, the explosion took place soon after Iraq's government announced the postponement of an early general election from June to October in order to allow electoral authorities to register voters and new parties. Nevertheless, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack but, according to authorities, the Islamic State might be behind the bombing. 


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Author: Eleonora Gonnelli; Editor: Benedetta Spizzichino

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