At least 45 people are killed in a hostage-taking attack and a series of bombings in the violence-ridden country of Iraq.
Some 20 people were killed and 50 others wounded after a bomber detonated his explosives-filled vest inside a cafe in Muqdadiya, 80 km northeast of Baghdad, on Monday, security and medical sources said.
As medics and civilians gathered at the site of the first blast an explosive-laden car parked outside the cafe exploded.
Earlier, a hostage taking attack was carried out by Daesh Takfiri terrorists in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Security sources said gunmen opened fire in a crowded shopping mall in eastern Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 18, four of them police forces, and taking some others hostage.
A police official said the gunmen had holed up in a mall in the al-Jadida area.
“When the security forces got too close, they killed three hostages,” a police official said.
Iraqi state television said the rest of the hostages had been freed. Two of the hostage takers were killed while four were arrested.
Iraqi media said that an initial car bombing in front of the mall caused some fatalities, adding that at least 50 people were injured in the attacks. They said police and security forces encircled the mall and shooting was heard from the place.
An Interior Ministry source said gunmen opened fire in the street after a car bomb explosion and briefly clashed with members of the security forces before entering the mall, a building of four or five floors in a busy commercial area of Baghdad.
Meanwhile, in a separate bombing in crowded marketplace in the Nahrawan district southeast Baghdad seven people were killed and 15 injured.
The Takfiri group Daesh, which controls areas in northern and western Iraq, has carried numerous attacks in the country. Daesh has suffered back-to-back defeats over the past weeks to the Iraqi military and allied volunteer fighters, chief among the setbacks being the militants’ loss of control of Anbar’s provincial capital of Ramadi, around 100 kilometers west of Baghdad.