Isis claims Baghdad bombing. Chaldean Patriarch implores 'reconciliation'

Overnight the jihadist group claimed responsibility for the double kamikaze attack on the city market, with 32 victims and 110 injured. Iraqi Church: "Fateful moment", every citizen called to "turn the page". The Iraqi president against the "rogue" attempts to "destabilize" the nation. Support from the US, the UN and the EU.


Baghdad (AsiaNews) - Overnight Islamic State militias officially claimed responsibility for yesterday's bloody attack around noon in Baghdad, which caused at least 32 victims and 110 injured, some of whom are still in serious condition.

The operating methods - a kamikaze, followed by a second suicide bomber - in fact recall techniques already used on several occasions in the past by the jihadist group. Although defeated militarily, the group still has active cells across the country and thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is regaining ground..

A few hours later, a claim for the attack appeared on a Telegram account attributable to ISIS. In the message released by the jihadist group it is stated that the target of the Sunni radicals is Shiite Muslims, branded as unbelievers and infidels.

The gesture received unanimous condemnation from Iraqi and international political and religious leaders. After Pope Francis, who should make his first apostolic journey abroad in Iraq in March since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is also the note from the Chaldean patriarchate that "firmly condemns" the suicide attack "that has caused dozens of martyrs and wounded innocent civilians”.

“Politics - reads the statement sent to AsiaNews - is an honourable responsibility to achieve peace, security and a dignified life for citizens. Therefore, after 18 years of conflict and suffering, it is time for Iraqis to reconcile and move to lift the country from the bottom of the collapse, freeing it from political and partisan controversies, sectarianism and quotas”.

The cardinal points out that it is "a fateful and difficult moment" in which "every citizen" is called to "turn the page and leave with enthusiasm to help build a healthy and strong country". It is everyone's task, he concludes, "to build our societies with a culture of citizenship, tolerance, diversity, respect for the laws and prestige of the state".

Iraqi President Barham Saleh expressed the unanimous condemnation of national institutions, underlining that the government "is firm in countering these rogue attempts to destabilize our country". Support and solidarity also come from the leaders of the United States, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations.

In its period of maximum expansion, ISIS - which appeared on the international limelight in 2014 – calimed control of 88 thousand square kilometres of territory between the eastern part of Syria and the western sector of Iraq, imposing its dominion with violence and terror on almost eight million of people.

Despite the military defeat and the liberation of much of the territory starting from 2017, there are still at least 10 thousand fighters active in the area today according to UN sources.

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