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Death toll from Baghdad blast rises to 292: minister

baghdad

BAGHDAD: A Baghdad bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed 292 people, the health minister said Thursday, raising the toll of what was already one of the deadliest attacks in Iraq.

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle in a crowded shopping area early on Sunday, ahead of the Eid ul-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Health Minister Adila Hamoud said the identities of 177 people killed in the bombing have yet to be determined, while 115 bodies have been handed over to families.

The attack also wounded 200 people, Hamoud said.

The blast sparked widespread anger among Iraqis, some of whom have accused the government of failing to do enough to protect them.

And it has overshadowed what would normally be a joyful holiday, instead turning it into a time of mourning and sadness.

The Islamic State group overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces have since regained significant territory from the jihadists.

In response to the battlefield setbacks, the group has hit back against civilians, and experts have warned there may be more bombings as the jihadists continue to lose ground.

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