Eighteen people have died and 51 were injured in the explosion of a homemade device in a market in the Iraqi capital, according to reports. AP. The event occurs one day before the great festival of Aíd al Adha or the sacrifice, when Muslims buy heads of cattle or meat to celebrate. An Iraqi police captain, Abdullah Al Husseini, has informed EFE that the explosion has also caused damage to the market and that the number of victims may increase.
The explosion occurred in a market located in the populous neighborhood of Sadr City, in eastern Baghdad and mainly Shiite, a stronghold of the followers of the influential cleric Muqtada al Sadr and which has been the target of numerous attacks in the past years at the hands of of radical Sunni groups, such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. The Iraqi Health Ministry has announced that it is preparing all its facilities and personnel to treat the wounded, without offering further details on their severity.
For its part, the Iraqi Government Security Information Cell has said that the Baghdad Police Command has opened an investigation to find out the circumstances of the explosion, described as a “terrorist attack.” The Cell has not offered an official death and wounded figure, nor did it point to the possible perpetrators of the attack.
Attacks in Baghdad are common during Muslim holidays, although these have been less frequent since the military defeat of the jihadist group Islamic State in 2017, when it was expelled from most of the territories it controlled in Iraq. At the moment, no group has assumed responsibility for the explosion on Monday.