BAGHDAD (AP) — A pair of bombings in the Iraqi capital Saturday killed nearly two 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 13 people and wounding at least 30.
The second attack took place shortly afterward in central Baghdad’s popular Shorja market. Police said two improvised explosive devices detonated 25 metres apart from one another, killing at least nine people and wounding 25.
There has been no claim for either attack thus far. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties.
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-Qaeda-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 repeated assured that the capital is secure, despite the occasional targeting of Baghdad’s Shiite-majority neighbourhoods by the militant group.