Three suicide bombings claimed by Islamic State across Baghdad killed at least 80 people on Wednesday, Iraqi police and hospital sources said, in the deadliest attacks in the Iraqi capital this year.
The first attack, a suicide car bomb at near outside a beauty salon near a bustling market in the Shiite Muslim area of Sadr City killed 55 people during morning rush hour and wounded 68. Most of the victims were women, sources said, and many of the wounded are in a critical condition.
Two more blasts struck at the end of the working day. A suicide bomber stormed a security checkpoint leading into Kadhimiya, a northwestern area housing one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam, killing 17 and wounding more than 30.
Another bomb went off at a checkpoint on a commercial thoroughfare in a predominantly Sunni district of western Baghdad, killing eight and wounding 20.
Four suicide bombers were surrounded by security forces shortly after the car exploded and detonated their payloads without causing any casualties, according to Kurdish news organization Rudaw.
Amaq news agency, which supports IS, said the first suicide bomber had targeted Shiite militia fighters.
The ultra-hardline Sunni jihadist group, which considers Shiites apostates, claimed a twin suicide bombing in Sadr City in February that killed 70 people — the deadliest attack in Baghdad in months.
Security has gradually improved in the Iraqi capital, which was the target of daily bombings a decade ago, but violence directed against both the security forces and civilians is still frequent and large blasts sometimes set off reprisal attacks.
The fight against IS — which grew out of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which surged after the Western invasion in 2003 — has exacerbated a long-running sectarian conflict in Iraq, mostly between the Shia majority and the Sunni minority.
Sectarian violence also threatens to undermine efforts to dislodge the militant group from large areas of the north and west of Iraq that they seized in 2014.
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