BAGHDAD: A series of bombings in the Iraqi capital Saturday killed more than three dozen people hours before the city’s longtime curfew was set to come to an end.
The deadliest attack happened in the New Baghdad section of the city. Police officials said a suicide bomber targeted a street filled with hardware stores, killing 22 people and wounding at least 45.
The second attack took place shortly afterward in central Baghdad’s popular Shorja market. Police said two devices detonated 25 meters apart from one another, killing at least 11 people and wounding 26.
Also, at the Abu Cheer market on a Shiite block of southwestern Baghdad, at least four people were killed and 15 wounded when a bomb detonated outside an outdoor food market.
There has been no claim for any of the attacks thus far. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke anonymously as they are not authorized to brief the media.
The incident comes ahead of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s decision to lift Iraq’s longtime curfew beginning at midnight Sunday.
Baghdad has remained relatively calm amid a rampage in northern and western Iraq by the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State group. Recent bombings have frequently targeted Shiite-majority areas in the capital, but the violence has been considerably subdued from the darkest days of sectarian bloodletting in 2006 and 2007.
Iraqi officials have repeatedly assured that the capital is secure, despite the occasional targeting of Baghdad’s Shiite-majority neighborhoods by the Sunni militant group.