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    Thursday, January 21, 2021

    Baghdad Bombings: Dozens killed and hundreds wounded in deadliest twin suicide attacks in Iraqi capital

    Twin suicide bombings killed at least 32 people in a crowded market in the Iraqi capital, this Thursday, and left hundreds wounded. The once-functioning attacks in the Iraqi capital in recent years have become rarer as U.S.-funded Iraqi forces have utmostly defeated the Islamic State.

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    A spokesperson from the interior ministry confirmed the current mortality rates but also pointed out that some of those injured are in critical condition indicating the increased chances in the death rates. This happens to be Iraq's first suicide bombing since 2018. Apparently video footage taken on a balcony's attack stage on Thursday shows a small group of people gathering next to the market before the crowd flashes through a massive explosive light burst. Several failed bodies lie on the ground as the smoke clears.

    "After pretending to be ill to gather persons around him the first suicide bomber blew itself up," said Maj. Gen. Khalid al-Muhanna, Interior Minister spokesperson. He said the bomber dropped on the ground, and after people rushed for assistance, he exploded. In the next few minutes the 2nd bomber enlarged his explosive. In addition, witnesses said that the first bomber claimed to be sick and asked for help before detonating his vest, while the second bomber attacked as people rushed to help those wounded in the first attack. 

    Those on the ground worried that political tensions were rising before October elections, while Iraqi authorities suggested ISIS was the most likely culprit behind the bombardments. Generals Muhanna reported that, while no group immediately claimed responsibility, they assumed that the attackers were affiliated with the militant group of the Islamic State or its offshoot. Also Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met urgently to address the attacks with top security commanders as Iraqi security forces were mobilised and main roads blocked, in order to avoid further assaults.

    The twin bombing was criticised as "senseless act of brutality," by Pope Francis who is expected to visit Iraq in March this year.

    Iraq is also facing a serious economic crisis triggered by low price oil, which has led the government to borrow domestically and is at risk of depleting its foreign-exchange reserves.In order to fulfil expenditure commitments, the Central Bank of Iraq depreciated the Iraq dinar by almost 20% last year such that the demonstrators rushed to the streets demaning democratic reforms and a cessation of rampant corruption and poor services by current Iraqi Government. Mass protests in the aftermath led to the killing of more than 500 people after safety forces used live and tear gas to disperse protestors. 

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