Suicide bomb kills at least 15 at ice cream shop in Baghdad

A man walks in front of the ice cream shop the morning after the blast A man walks in front of the ice cream shop the morning after the blast Khalid al-Mousily/Reuters

21 June 2017
A suicide attack, carried out by the extremist group Islamic State, has targeted families reunited for the daily breaking of fast during Ramadan.

On May 30 more than 15 people were killed and over 30 were wounded by an explosion outside an ice cream shop in Karrada district, in the south of Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. According to authorities, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive hidden in a parked car. The blast occurred soon after midnight when the place was crowded with people, especially families and children. The suicide attack occurred during the month of Ramadan, the holy period in which Muslims fast during daylight hours, eating together after sunset. Karrada neighbourhood, that has been hit by dozens of terrorist attacks in recent years, is a popular meeting place in the nighttime, as it is full of restaurants and bars.

The extremist group Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack, writing on its official website that the bomber targeted a group of Iraqi Shiites. ISIS, whose militants belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, often carries attacks against Shiite Muslims, as the terrorist group considers members of the other major Islamic denomination heretical.

Iraqi authorities and civilians feared an increase of violence by ISIS militants during Ramadan. The first reason is that ISIS members believe that this holy month encourages what they consider "good acts" against infidels, that is to say, people who don’t support the most strict version of the Islamic law. But also, attacks against civilians are argued to be a strategy in order to move attention from the long-lasting battle against the Iraqi army in Mosul, a large city in the north of Iraq. This city is considered the last stronghold of ISIS in the country and that is in little part still controlled by the terrorist group.

On May 30, the blast outside the ice cream shop was followed by another explosion in Baghdad, claimed by ISIS a few hours later. This second attack occurred outside an office where people collect their government pensions, where a suicide bomber killed at least 14 people and wounded over 37.


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