IED blast kills civilian, wounds 4 in western Baghdad

Aftermath of a car explosion in Baghdad’s al-Sadr city which was claimed by Islamic State.

Baghdad ( One civilian was killed and four others were wounded Monday when an explosive device went off west of Baghdad, according to Iraqi security sources.

Alsumaria News quoted the sources as saying that the device exploded near a popular market in al-Nasr wal Salam area in Abu Gharib, west of the capital.

Violence surged in Iraq with the emergence of Islamic State militants who took over large areas of the country in 2014. Baghdad has been witnessing almost daily bombings targeting civilians and security personnel.

Nobody has claimed responsibility yet for the bombings, but IS militants have said they had been responsible for several bloody explosions and attacks that hit the capital in the past months, bringing the governorate municipal and security officials under critics’ fire.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said violence in the country left nearly 382 dead, including security members, and 908 injured during January. Baghdad was the most affected province with 128 deaths and 444 injuries, according to the organization.

Observers believe Islamic State have begun to escalate attacks outside the city of Mosul, where the group has been losing ground and personnel since October, so as to relieve pressure by government forces on that front and to divert attention from group losses.

While losing Mosul could be the severest blow to the group’s existence in Iraq, some observers argue that attacks outside the province prove that the extremist group can still pose a security threat for all cities.

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