So-called Islamic State has said it was behind a suicide bomb attack on a security checkpoint in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, that has killed more than 20 people and injured at least another 35, reports BBC.
The attack targeted the entrance to the mainly Shia Muslim area of Kadhimiyah in north-west Baghdad. The Islamic State-linked Amaq news agency said the group had targeted soldiers in the area. An IS bombing on 3 July killed 281 people in Baghdad’s Karrada district.
The suicide bomber reportedly carried out Sunday’s attack on foot. Both members of the security forces and civilians were among the dead. Security forces have surrounded the area and have increased inspections at other checkpoints in the capital.
The suicide bomb attack targeted the entrance to the mainly Shia Muslim area of Kadhimiyah
Both Karrada and Kadhimiyah are mainly Shia districts. The Sunni-based IS jihadists often target those areas, regarding Shia as heretics, along with carrying out attacks on security forces.
The group still controls areas in northern and western Iraq. But it has suffered a series of defeats, including the recent loss of the western city of Falluja and, in response, has stepped up suicide attacks.
According to CNN, Analysts say this demonstration of the terror group’s capacity to strike at the heart of the capital may force a delay of the long-awaited government push to retake the northern city of Mosul, the largest city under ISIS control.
The Sunni terror group, which has carved out a self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, has been losing territory, most recently in the Iraqi city of Falluja.
The fallout from the Karrada attack included the resignation of Iraq’s interior minister, Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban, who stepped aside two days later, citing a lack of “coordination among security systems” as the reason for his departure.