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Baghdad suicide car bomb blast kills 35

ISIS claims resposibilty for the attacks.

| 03.01.17 | 07:45
Soldier in Baghdad/ Shutterstock
At least 35 people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in Baghdad,yesterday Monday January 2nd . One attack targeted day laborers waiting to pick up work. Asaad Hashim, a mobile phone shop owner, told the Associated Press the bomber pretended to be looking to hire laborers. The laborers trying to get hired crowded round the vehicle. "Then a big boom came, sending them up into the air," Mr Hashim said.
The blast injured sixty-one other people. Nine of the victims were women in a minibus that was passing through the square at the time, according to the Reuters news agency. Three of the victims were policemen stationed at a local checkpoint.

Another car bomb later exploded in the car park of the nearby Al-Kindi hospital, killing three people. ISIS said it carried out both attacks, targeting a "gathering of Shia" in the first.

On Saturday, there were two suicide bombings at a market in Baghdad that left 28 people dead. ISIS said it targeted the Shia, whom it considers apostates.

Vegetable stall owner Ali Abbas said: "We have no idea who will kill at any moment and who's supposed to protect us."

"The terrorists will attempt to attack civilians in order to make up for their losses, but we assure the Iraqi people and the world that we are able to end terrorism and shorten its life," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters after meeting French President Francois Hollande in central Baghdad.

Hollande is in the middle of a visit to Iraq to strengthen his soldiers stationed there. He told French soldiers based there that fighting IS in Iraq was helping prevent terrorist attacks at home. Pro-government forces are organizing an offensive to drive IS militants from the northern city of Mosul, their last major urban stronghold in the country. Hollande is meeting with these forces too.

Iraqi Special Forces and army units entered eastern Mosul in the beginning of November. But waves of suicide bombings, snipers, shellfire and bad weather slowed their advances. Mr. Hollande offered words of encouragement predicting that the city would fall within weeks.

IS militants attacked an army base near Baiji, north of Baghdad, killing four soldiers, Reuters reported. They seized weapons and fired mortars at the nearby town of Shirqat. Authorities were forced to impose a curfew and close schools, officials said.

Gunmen also killed nine pro-government Sunni tribal fighters at a village near Udhaim, 90km (56 miles) north of Baghdad.

It seems ISIS is still strong enough to cause a lot of harm.
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