At least 38 people were killed and dozens more were left injured by twin suicide bomb explosions in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Monday (15 January), officials have said.
The attacks targeted Aviation Square, a commercial area of Baghdad, and were carried out by two suicide bombers. The area is mostly crowded with workers, Iraq's interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan said, according to The Guardian.
The attackers struck during rush hour in the city's Tayran Square, which is usually crowded by labourers seeking work. The twin explosions also wounded at least 105 people, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to the media.
Ambulances rushed to the scene as security forces sealed off the area with yellow tape. Slippers could be seen scattered about on the blood-stained pavement as cleaners hurried to clear the debris. Photographs posted on social media showed lifeless bodies and pieces of limbs.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts.
On Saturday (13 January), a suicide bomb attack near a security checkpoint near Aden Square in the Iraqi capital had also killed at least five people.
The incidents shocked residents in the Iraqi capital because large attacks had decreased significantly in Baghdad and other parts of country since security forces retook nearly all territory once held by IS militants.
Iraqi and U.S. officials have warned that IS would continue with insurgent-style attacks even after the Iraqi military and U.S.-led coalition succeeded in uprooting the Islamic State group across the country.
The cost of victory has been nearly incalculable as the three years of war against IS devastated much of northern and western Iraq — roughly a third of the country — where Islamic State militants had held most of the territory.
The attacks come a month after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the Islamic State marking the end of a three-year war with the Islamic group.