At least 28 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a double suicide bombing of a central Baghdad market, the first such attack in three years.
The Iraqi military said two attackers wearing explosive vests blew themselves up among shoppers at a crowded market in Tayaran Square in central Baghdad, when they were “pursued by security forces” . IT added that at least 28 people had been killed and 73 wounded.
An interior ministry spokesman said the death toll was expected to rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition.
Video footage apparently taken at the scene from a balcony showed a small group of people gathering beside the market, before a large explosive and flash of light rips through the crowd. As the smoke clears several mangled bodies are seen lying on the ground.
Videos apparently taken in the marketplace from the ground, showed limp bodies scattered in amongst the stalls.
There were unconfirmed reports that the first bomber may have claimed to be sick and asked for help before detonating his vest, while the second bomber attacked as people rushed to help those wounded in the first attack.
No one has claimed responsibility for the killings so far. Iraqi authorities did not immediately say who they believed was behind the bombing, but called it a terrorist incident, a reference usually used for attacks by Islamic State.
The Iraqi capital was once regularly rocked by such attacks but has remained relatively calm since 2017 when Iraqi forces and the US-backed coalition drove the Islamic State from the territory they controlled.
The last deadly suicide blast in the Iraqi capital, also at Tayaran Square, killed at least 27 people in January 2018.
Separately militias have also routinely targeted the American presence in Iraq with rocket and mortar attacks, especially the US Embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone.
However the pace of the militia attacks has decreased since an informal truce was declared by Iran-backed armed groups in October.