Posted by Wordsmith on 3 July, 2016 at 11:23 pm. 30 comments already!

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A massive car bomb exploded early Sunday in the heart of one of Baghdad’s busiest commercial areas, killing at least 121 people and wounding many others, security officials said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing, the extremist group’s first major attack on the Iraqi capital since losing the nearby city of Fallujah to Iraqi forces late last month. A series of defeats in Syria and Iraq since last fall has prompted the militants to revert to more guerrilla-style tactics such as suicide attacks on civilians in urban areas.

The blast in the upscale central neighborhood of Karrada occurred around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday in front of a Shiite mosque, damaging it and setting nearby buildings ablaze, interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan said. The streets were packed with young people and families reveling the breaking of the Ramadan fast, with many watching the European soccer tournament on a cafe TV at the blast site.

The bombing kindled new expressions of ire over the deteriorating security situation in the capital. When Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi toured the site hours after the explosion, angry crowds jeered him, calling him a thief and throwing shoes and rocks at his convoy.

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