At least 28 people have been killed and 70 others injured in a twin suicide bombing at a crowded commercial area in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad at a clothing market in Tayaran Square. No group has said it carried out the latest attack, but suspicion will fall on the jihadist group Islamic State. A report by the UN secretary-general released last August estimated that more than 10,000 IS fighters remained active in Iraq and Syria. The Islamic State was largely defeated in Iraq in 2017 but sleeper cells continue to wage a low-level insurgency in the country. An interior ministry statement said the first bomber rushed into the market, claiming to feel sick. When people gathered around him he detonated an explosive belt he was wearing. The second bomber detonated as others came to help the victims. Ambulances rushed to the scene to take the many wounded to hospitals across Baghdad.
Suicide bombings have become rare in the capital. Earlier this week, the electricity ministry reported coordinated attacks on power lines, power stations and other infrastructure, causing millions of dollars worth of damage. At the Vatican, Pope Francis denounced the attack in Baghdad as a “senseless act of brutality” and urged Iraqis to keep working to replace violence with fraternity and peace.