BAGHDAD: A car bomb ripped through a busy market area in eastern Baghdad on Monday morning, killing at least eight people, police and rescue sources said.
According to rescue officials, the explosives-laden car went off at the wholesale Jamila market in the city’s Shia district of Sadr as Iraqi government forces were preparing to declare victory over Islamic State more than 400 km (250 miles) further north in the city of Tal Afar.
It was not immediately clear if a suicide bomber had driven the vehicle to the target or if it was a parked car bomb, police sources said.
A plume of thick black smoke was billowing from the area and people were running away in panic. At the site, twisted metal and shards of glass littered the pavement, along with vegetables and other goods sold at the market.
Medics and police sources said eight people died and 25 were wounded.
Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said four people were killed and 12 wounded, including two policemen.
No group immediately claimed responsibility, though the Sunni Muslim militants of Islamic State have said they carried out a string of other recent attacks in the capital.
On Sunday, Iraqi military said it had “fully liberated” Tal Afar’s town centre from IS militants. On Monday, the troops fought at the outskirts of al-Ayadia district, about 10 kilometres northwest of Tal Afar, where most of the militants fled.
Tal Afar was one of the few remaining towns in Iraq still in IS hands following the liberation of Mosul in July from the IS group. The militant group still controls the northern town of Hawija, as well as Qaim, Rawa and Ana, in western Iraq near the Syrian border.
With additional input from Reuters….