Reports say at least 60 people have been killed and 200 others wounded in a truck bomb attack in Iraq’s Sadr City.
Iraqi police officials say the massive truck bomb ripped through a popular Baghdad food market in the early morning hours.
Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the truck detonated in the Jameela market in Baghdad’s crowded Sadr City neighborhood shortly after dawn on Thursday.
The terrorist group, Daesh (ISIL), claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
In a message posted on an ISIL-affiliated Twitter account, the militant group said it targeted a Shia Muslim gathering with a parked, explosives-laden truck. They also vowed more attacks.
The market is the main one for produce and food in the Iraqi capital. People rushed to help the victims, carrying corpses in garbage bags and sending the wounded to local hospitals in ambulances or in personal cars.
The blast incinerated much of the market, leaving charred wooden market stalls and scattering fruits and vegetables far around it.
Fire trucks and ambulances were at the scene and firemen were dousing the still-smoldering complex with water long after the explosion. “On Thursdays the market is especially crowded because people come from the other provinces to stock up on food for the weekend,” a police officer said.
He said the truck that set off the explosion was a refrigeration truck, so it was impossible to distinguish it from other trucks delivering produce to the market.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham (pictured below) has condemned the Thursday attack.
She also expressed concern about the rise in the number of such attacks in Iraq and underlined the need for a swift and efficient international battle against terrorism.
Afkham further extended Iran’s condolences to the Iraqi people and government over the latest bloody attack.
Last month, the militant group targeted a popular market in the eastern province of Diyala, killing more than 115 people in one of the worst-single attacks to tear through the country in a decade.
Gruesome violence has plagued various parts of Iraq ever since ISIL launched an offensive in June 2014, and took control of portions of Iraqi territory. Units of army soldiers coupled with volunteer fighters are seeking to win back militant-held regions in joint operations.