At least 11 people have been killed and 28 wounded following twin car bomb blasts outside a shopping mall in eastern Baghdad, police and hospital officials have said.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - At least 11 people have been killed and 28 wounded following twin car bomb blasts outside a shopping mall in eastern Baghdad, police and hospital officials have said.
Three Iraqi police are understood to be among the dead following the explosions near Nakheel mall just before midnight (21:00 GMT) on Friday.
A parked car is believed to have been the source of one explosion, while the second was caused by an explosives-laden vehicle driven by a suicide bomber, a police colonel told AFP.
The death toll is expected to rise and reports from Reuters suggest 12 people have been killed and more than 40 wounded.
Video footage uploaded onto social media appeared to show four separate fires, including two cars in flames, under a highway overpass near the mall.
The Isis propaganda agency, Amaq, has released an online statement claiming responsibility for the attack, details of which differ from those given by officials.
It said that two suicide bombers, one wearing a vest and another in a car, had targeted “a gathering of Shia [Muslims]” on the street outside the mall, which is located opposite the oil ministry.
Interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan said no casualties had been reported inside the mall.
The shopping centre opened last year in the Iraqi capital’s Palestine Street. Shops are likely to have been open late in anticipation of next week’s Eis al-Adha celebrations.
The attack comes as Iraqi ground forces move into position around Mosul ahead of a planned operation to retake the militant-held city from the so-called Islamic State group.