1 killed, 12 wounded in market explosion in Iraq’s capital

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People and security forces inspect the scene of an explosion at a crowded outdoor used furniture market in Sadr City area, Iraq, Thursday, April 15, 2021. The powerful explosion rocked the market in east Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least one person and injuring many others, according to Iraq’s military. The cause of the blast was not immediately known. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — An explosion rocked a market in east Baghdad on Thursday, killing one person and injuring 12 others, according to Iraq’s military.

The military said the blast in the capital’s Sadr City, in the Habibiya neighborhood, was caused by a car laden with highly explosive materials that blew up while passing through a popular used furniture market. It sent a cloud of black smoke above the area. Shortly afterward, a crowd of people gathered around the mangled wreckage of a charred car and a burned-out white van. A fire engine was parked nearby.

A military statement said one person was killed and 12 injured, according to a preliminary investigation. Five vehicles were burned, it added. It did not say what caused the detonation.

The driver of the car was killed in the explosion, the statement said.

Iraq’s president condemned the attack, calling it a “shameless” attempt by terrorist groups to destabilize the country during the holy month of Ramadan.

“We stand firmly against these attempts,” Barham Salih tweeted.

Explosions in the Iraqi capital, particularly in the predominantly Shiite Muslim Sadr City district, were once almost daily occurrences but have become less frequent in the past few years, particularly following the defeat of the Islamic State group in 2017. In January, twin suicide bombings ripped through a busy market in the Iraqi capital, killing more than 30 people and wounding dozens.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Thursday’s bombing.

The development comes hours after a drone strike targeted US-led coalition troops near Irbil airport and a Turkish military base in northern Iraq.

Wednesday night’s drone attack targeted coalition forces based near Irbil international airport and caused a fire that damaged a building, according to the Kurdish region’s Interior Ministry and coalition officials.

Separately, a rocket attack targeting a Turkish military base in northern Iraq’s Bashiqa region killed one Turkish soldier and wounded a child in a nearby village, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

There was no claim of responsibility for either attack.

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Associated Press writer Samya Kullab contributed reporting from Istanbul.

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