Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has dismissed the commander of Baghdad security operations and other officials five days after a massive bomb blast in the capital Baghdad claimed at least 292 lives. The premier issued, "an order to relieve the Baghdad Operations commander of his position, and relieving security and intelligence officials in Baghdad of their positions," a statement from his office said.

The order followed soon after another blast on a Shiite shrine in the town of Balad on Thursday (7 July) evening killed at least 30 people.

Lieutenant General Abdul Amir al-Shammari, the head of Baghdad operations security command, will step down while the names of other officials are not identified in the statement.

A lorry laden with explosives went off on Sunday 3 July near a shopping mall in Karrada district. It was busy with young people and families out after sunset marking the end of a day's fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

The terrorist group Islamic State (Isis) claimed responsibility for the blast.

Iraqi people blame the government for security lapses in the capital that allowed for huge amounts of explosives through check points and into civilian neighbourhoods.

Earlier, Interior Minister Mohammed Ghabban had submitted his resignation. He said the security system was fundamentally flawed and he could no longer accept responsibility for the consequences. He also called for a series of changes that would give more powers to the ministry.

In a bid to limit the fallout from the attack, the Iraqi authorities announced the execution of five convicts and arrested over 40 jihadists.

In June, Iraqi government forces recaptured a significant amount of territory from the jihadist group IS (Daesh) and declared that Fallujah was fully liberated from the militants. The Sunni militant group hit back on civilians as they faced setbacks on the battlefield.

Baghdad
People gather at the site after a suicide car bomb attack at the shopping area of Karrada, BaghdadAhmed Saad/ Reuters