Two civilians killed, 5 wounded in northern, western Baghdad blasts

Photos shared across social networks show pillows of smoke following a bomb blast in central Baghdad

Baghdad ( Bomb blasts in northern and western Baghdad killed two civilians and wounded five others on Monday, according to police sources.

A bomb placed on the side of a road near a popular market in Shatt al-Taji, north of the capital, exploded on Monday, killing one civilian and wounded four others, Alsumaria News quoted police sources saying.

Another explosion rocked al-Forat district, at the west of Baghdad, when a bomb fitted beneath a civilian’s vehicle exploded, killing the driver and wounding another who was in his company.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the bombings, but Islamic State militants have said
they had been responsible for several bloody explosions and attacks that hit the capital in the past months, leaving casualties among civilians and security troops.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) says violence in the country left nearly 392 dead and 613 injured, excluding security members, during February. Baghdad was the second most affected province with 120 deaths and 300 injuries, according to the organization’s monthly casualty count. It excludes death toll among security members after Iraqi authorities had asked to get such information exclusively from security commands.

Some 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. They are concerned that the group could, however, shift to a guerrilla-style war and lone wolf attacks after the recapture of Mosul.

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