BAGHDAD (AP) – Attacks in Baghdad killed at least 22 people and wounded dozens on Monday, just days after the government lifted a nighttime curfew that had been in place in the Iraqi capital for over a decade.
In the first attack, a suicide bomber set off an explosive vest in a busy Baghdad intersection crowded with rush-hour commuters early, killing at least 18 people.
The bombing in Adan Square, located in a predominantly Shiite part of the capital, appeared to be the latest in a near-daily string of attacks by extremists targeting the country’s Shiite majority.
A police officer who provided the death toll said the attack also wounded 42 people.
Hours later, a bomb ripped through a commercial area in the capital’s northeastern suburb of Husseiniyah, killing four civilians and wounding nine, another police officer said.
Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media.
The attacks came two days after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi lifted a midnight to 5am curfew in the capital that had been in place in various forms since 2004, when Iraq was engulfed in violence following the US-led invasion the year before.
The government has struggled to impose security following the 2011 withdrawal of US forces. Last summer the Islamic State group, which has claimed several previous attacks in and around the capital, swept across a third of the country, capturing the second largest city Mosul. A US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the extremist group since August.