Baghdad market bombing claimed by IS kills 52

BAGHDAD:  A car bombing claimed by the Islamic State extremist group killed at least 52 people at a market in north Baghdad on Wednesday, officials said.

The blast, the single deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital this year, comes as the government is locked in a political crisis that some have warned could undermine the fight against IS.

The bombing, which hit the Sadr City area at around 10:00 am,  also wounded at least 65 people, the officials said.

The blast set nearby shops on fire and left debris including the charred, twisted remains of a vehicle in the street.

Dozens of angry people gathered at the scene of the bombing, blaming the government for the carnage.

“The state is in a conflict over (government positions) and the people are the victims,” said a man named Abu Ali, adding: “The politicians are behind the explosion.”

Abu Muntadhar echoed his anger.

“The state is responsible for the bombings that hit civilians,” he said. The politicians “should all get out.”

Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who spearheaded a protest movement demanding a cabinet reshuffle and other reforms, has a huge following in the working class neighbourhood of Sadr City, which was named after his father.

IS issued an online statement claiming responsibility for the attack.

It said a suicide bomber it identified as “Abu Sulaiman al-Ansari” detonated the explosives-rigged vehicle.-AFP