The Associated Press 6:40 a.m. EDT June 9, 2016
(Photo: Hadi Mizban/AP)
BAGHDAD — Two suicide attacks in and outside the Iraqi capital killed at least 27 people and wounded dozens Thursday, officials said.
The deadliest attack took place in a commercial area of a majority Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad. At least 15 civilians were killed and 35 wounded, police said.
Another suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into an Iraqi army checkpoint north of Baghdad, killing at least 12 people, police said. Seven civilians and five troops were killed in the attack in the town of Taji, about 12 miles north of the capital, a police officer said. At least 28 people were wounded, he added.
Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief the press.
In an online statement, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the New Baghdad district attack, saying it targeted Shiite militia members. It later claimed responsibility for the Taji bombing in a second online statement, saying it was targeting the Iraqi army.
The Associated Press could not verify the authenticity of the statements, but they were posted on a militant website commonly used by the extremists.
Photo: An Iraqi woman grieves at the scene of a deadly suicide car bomb attack in the New Baghdad neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, on June 9. (Photo: Hadi Mizban/AP)
The Sunni militant group often targets Iraq’s Shiite majority, security forces and government officials. Baghdad has seen near-daily attacks in recent weeks.
U.S. to Iraq: Fight ISIS on front lines despite Baghdad attacks
The deadly attacks in the capital and beyond are seen by Iraqi officials as an attempt by the militants to distract the security forces’ attention from the front lines. The attacks came a day after Iraqi special forces pushed into the ISIS-held city of Fallujah in a large-scale military operation launched last month.
Two U.S. troops injured during ISIS attacks in Iraq, Syria
Fallujah, which is about 40 miles west of Baghdad, is one of the last major ISIS strongholds in western Iraq. The extremist group still controls territory in the country’s north and west, as well as Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.
Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj contributed from Baghdad.