(Reuters) Islamic State claimed a suicide bomb attack that police and medics said killed 13 people at a vegetable market in eastern Baghdad on Sunday.
The group said in an online statement that a suicide car bomber had detonated his explosives in the Jamila area.
The explosion, which hit a marketplace in Jamila, at the eastern, mainly Shia city of al-Sadr, occurred when a policeman shot at a suspected booby-trapped vehicle driven by a suicider, Saad Maan, spokesperson of the Interior Ministry’s Baghdad Operations, said in a statement.
While Maan put casualties from the attack at 6 deaths and 10 injuries, Reuters reported 12 deaths and 50 injuries.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said recently that violence in Iraq had left 19000 casualties in 2016, but said the count excludes deaths in Anbar during three months of that year.
IS claimed several attacks in Baghdad over the past weeks that killed and wounded dozens of civilians and security personnel. Observers believe Islamic State extremists have begun to escalate attacks outside the city of Mosul, where the group has been losing ground and personnel in a security campaign running since October, so as to relieve pressure on that front by government forces, and to divert attention from losses.