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Baghdad: Suicide blast in Shia district kills at least 20


Baghdad: A suicide car bomb blasted in an outdoor market in a Shiite-dominated north eastern district of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 12 people, officials said.

Five more people died in bombings on Tuesday elsewhere in Iraq.

Two attacks claimed by the Islamic State (IS) killed more than 300 people last week. On Monday, visiting US defence secretary Ash Carter said Washington will send 560 more troops to Iraq to help battle IS.

In Tuesday’s Baghdad bombing, a truck exploded during the morning rush hour at a vegetable and fruit market in the al-Rashidiya district, a police officer said. The blast killed 12 and wounded up to 37, and also damaged several cars, he added.

Elsewhere, a bomb went off at another outdoor market, this one in the town of Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Baghdad, killing three shoppers and wounding 10 people, police said. And two more civilians were killed and nine were wounded in a bombing that targeted a commercial area in the capital’s southern neighborhood of Dora, police also said.

Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to the media.

Last week, IS killed more than 300 people in two attacks. A massive truck bombing struck a bustling commercial area in a Baghdad’s predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Karada, killing 292 people — one of the deadliest attacks since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. And last Thursday, an attack at a Shiite shrine north of Baghdad killed 37 people.

The Interior Ministry spokesman, Brig. Gen. Saad Maan, said the troops were “practicing for a planned military parade for a specific occasion.” Maan didn’t name the occasion, but the country is due to mark the anniversary of its 1958 overthrow of a Hashemite monarchy and the declaration of Iraq as a republic on Thursday.

Carter who met with top Iraqi officials on Monday, said the new American forces should arrive in the coming weeks. They will primarily be tasked with transforming an air base retaken this month from IS into a staging hub for the long-awaited battle to recapture Mosul Iraq’s second-largest city from Islamic State militants.

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