Islamic State suicide bombings meant to target civilian areas, says official

Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad. Khalid al Mousily/Reuters

Baghdad ( – The twin suicide bombing that struck Baghdad Monday, leaving dozens dead and injured, comes as part of a new Islamic State strategy to target civilian areas, a well-placed provincial official was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Speaking to Knooz Media, Saad al-Matlabi, a member of the security committee in Baghdad’s provincial council, said, “Islamic State gangs, since their defeat in different provinces across Iraq, have adopted a new policy to target civilian areas through exploiting security vulnerabilities to carry out terrorist attacks there.”

“Such security gaps should be swiftly handled to protect civilians from any possible terrorist attacks,” Matlabi said, adding that the terrorist Islamic State group has repeatedly threatened to carry out suicide attacks in different Iraqi cities.

Matlabi rejected to blame any political party for Monday’s double suicide bomb attack, stressing that the bombing carries no political message.

He further stressed the importance of “intensifying intelligence efforts to eradicate all IS terrorists scattered throughout Baghdad and surrounding areas.”

In the wee hours of Monday, a twin suicide bombing rocked al-Tayaran Square in central Baghdad, leaving 26 people dead and 95 others injured.

“There are security men among the casualties,” a security source told Baghdad Today, adding that the explosions caused severe damage to vehicles that were at the scene.

Another security source told Shafaq News that the explosions took place “after two suicide bombers wearing explosive belts blew themselves up at a crowded site near al-Tayaran Square where many construction workers were gathered.”

Baghdad has seen almost daily bombings and armed attacks since Islamic State militants emerged in 2014 and proclaimed a self-styled “Caliphate” before a military campaign claimed victory over the militant group early December.

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