07/06/2016, 08.57
IRAQ
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Iraq sees worst bombing since invasion with 250 deaths

The death toll from Sunday's suicide bombing in Karrada district, center of Baghdad, has risen to 250. Scores of people were also injured but most have been released from hospital. Those critically injured had been sent abroad. Bewildered local residents have held candlelight vigils and prayed for peace. "We call on our Muslim brothers" to "condemn the crimes” Chaldean Patriarch said. 

 

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The death toll from Sunday's suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has risen to 250, the Iraqi government says, making it the deadliest such attack since the 2003 US-led invasion.

A lorry packed with explosives was detonated in the Karrada district while families were shopping for the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

So-called Islamic State (IS) has said it carried out the suicide attack.

An earlier estimate for the attack had put the toll at 165.

Iraq remains under an official state of mourning following the bombing.

The destruction of the area was all but complete. Bewildered local residents have held candlelight vigils and prayed for peace.

Scores of people were also injured but most have been released from hospital, according to the Iraqi health ministry.

The ministry said those critically injured had been sent abroad, without giving further details.

The bombing in a mostly Shia Muslim area just after midnight came a week after Iraqi forces had recaptured the city of Falluja from IS.

The Iraqi government has been heavily criticised over the attack, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met by angry crowds when he visited the blast site.

On Tuesday, Interior Minister Mohammed Ghabban submitted his resignation but it has not yet been accepted.

He described checkpoints dotted through Baghdad as "absolutely useless", according to AFP news agency.

The government has stepped up security in Baghdad and also said a group of prisoners convicted of terror crimes would be put to death in the immediate future.

Chaldean Patriarch Mar Raphael Louis Sako released a message yesterday for Iraq’s Muslims marking the end of the Muslim month of fasting and prayer. On the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, "we call on our Muslim brothers" to ask them to "raise their voices and condemn officially the crimes” committed in the name of a distorted and deviant form of religion, like the “latest massacre of Sunday 3 July in Karrada, Baghdad”, His Beatitude said.

 

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