Car bomb kills 23, injures dozens in Baghdad


BAGHDAD: At least 23 people have been killed and dozens injured in a car bomb explosion that hit a southern Baghdad district, Reuters reports, citing police and medical sources.

The blast rocked a busy commercial street in the mainly Shia Amil neighbourhood, leaving more than 45 people injured, the news agency said, citing its sources.

The Iraqi capital is frequently targeted by jihadists from various extremist groups, including Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which is now being pushed by the US-assisted Iraqi Army from the city of Mosul.

Baghdad had already been hit by a series of smaller bomb attacks since the beginning of the month, local media reported. On Sunday, a roadside bomb explosion killed one soldier and injured two others in the western part of the city.

Similar incidents occurred in the city on March 16 and 17, in which two civilians died and six were injured in total.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the Monday attack, although IS was behind previous bombings in Baghdad.

The incident comes as Iraqi forces assisted by the US continue to battle extremists in Mosul. In January, the eastern part of the city was declared “fully liberated” and the fighting has now shifted towards the more densely-populated western neighbourhoods.

Some 600,000 people are reportedly trapped in western Mosul. Almost 100,000 Iraqis have been displaced by the fighting in the days since February 25, according to the latest estimates of the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the total number could reach 450,000.