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Sunday, July 03, 2016

Nearly 150 killed in overnight Baghdad bombings claimed by Islamic State

Nearly 120 killed in overnight Baghdad bombings claimed by Islamic State Reuters Deadly bombings in Baghdad (00:39) Replay Romney will not back Trump or Clinton Man loses hand to fireworks, officials urge caution Thirteen suspects accused of Istanbul attack appear in court Candidates to lead Britain make their case 10h ago | 00:39 Deadly bombings in Baghdad Nearly 120 killed in overnight Baghdad bombings...X By Ahmed Rasheed and Maher Chmaytelli | BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Nearly 120 people were killed and 200 wounded in two bombings overnight in Baghdad, most of them in a busy shopping area as residents celebrated Ramadan, police and medical sources said on Sunday. The attack on the shopping area of Karrada is the deadliest since U.S.-backed Iraqi forces last month scored a major victory when it dislodged Islamic State from their stronghold of Falluja, an hour's drive west of the capital. It is also the deadliest so far this year. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had ordered the offensive after a series of deadly bombings in Baghdad, saying Falluja served as a launchpad for such attacks on the capital. However, bombings have continued. A convoy carrying Abadi who had come to tour the site of the bombings was pelted with stones and bottles by residents, angry at what they felt were false promises of better security. A refrigerator truck packed with explosives blew up in the central district of Karrada, killing 115 people and injuring at least 200. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement circulated online by supporters of the ultra-hard line Sunni group. It said the blast was a suicide bombing. Karrada was busy at the time as Iraqis eat out and shop late during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends next week with the Eid al-Fitr festival. Videos posted on social media showed people running after the SUV convoy of Abadi as he departed Karrada after touring the scene, throwing pavement stones, bottles of water, empty buckets and slippers, venting their anger at the inability of the security forces to protect the area. Another video posted on social media showed a large blaze in the main street of Karrada, a largely Shi'ite district with a small Christian community and a few Sunni mosques. ADVERTISEMENT Reuters TV footage taken in the morning showed at least four buildings severely damaged or partly collapsed, including a shopping mall believed to be the target, and gutted cars scattered all around. The toll climbed during the day as rescuers pulled out more bodies from under the rubble and people succumbed from their injuries. Comments posted on social media accused security forces of continuing to use fake bomb detectors at checkpoints filtering traffic in Baghdad, five years after the scandal broke out about a device commonly known as the 'magic wand'. A police officer in Baghdad confirmed these hand-held ADE 651 detectors were still in use. They were sold to Iraq and other nations by a British businessman who was jailed for 10 years in 2013 in the United Kingdom for endangering lives for profit. ‹ People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Mourners react during a funeral of a victim who was killed in a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, during the funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq, July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani Mourners react during a funeral of a victim who was killed in a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, during the funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq, July 3, 2016. Reuters/Alaa Al-Marjani Mourners react during a funeral of a victim who was killed in a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, during the funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq, July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani Mourners react during a funeral of a victim who was killed in a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, during the funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq, July 3, 2016. Reuters/Alaa Al-Marjani Mourners carry the coffin of their relative, who was killed in a suicide vehicle bomb in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, during the funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq, July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani Mourners carry the coffin of their relative, who was killed in a suicide vehicle bomb in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, during the funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq, July 3, 2016. Reuters/Alaa Al-Marjani People inspect the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People inspect the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Firemen hose down a burning building after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Firemen hose down a burning building after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Firemen hose down a burning building as civilians gather after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Firemen hose down a burning building as civilians gather after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily A fireman hoses down a burning building after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily A fireman hoses down a burning building after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Firemen inspect the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Firemen inspect the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. Reuters/Khalid al Mousily Mourners react during a funeral of a victim who was killed in a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, during the funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq, July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani Mourners react during a funeral of a victim who was killed in a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, during the funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq, July 3, 2016. Reuters/Alaa Al-Marjani › AL SHAAB ATTACK In a second attack, a roadside explosive device also blew up around midnight in a market in al-Shaab, a Shi'ite district in the north of the capital, killing at least two people, police and medical sources said. Iraqi forces on June 26 declared the defeat of IS militants in Falluja, a historic bastion of Sunni insurgency, following a month of fighting. Now the militants were "trying to compensate for their humiliating defeat in Falluja," said Jasim al-Bahadli, a former army officer and security analyst in Baghdad. Related Coverage White house says Baghdad attacks strengthen U.S. resolve in Iraq SlideshowMourners react during a funeral of a victim who was killed in a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, during the funeral in Najaf "It was a mistake for the government to think that the source of the bombings was restricted to just one area," he said. "There are sleeper cells that operate independently from each other." Falluja was the first Iraqi city to fall to Islamic State in January 2014. Abadi said the next target of the Iraqi forces is Mosul, the de facto capital of the militants and the largest city under their control in both Iraq and Syria. (Additional reporting by Kareem Raheem; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Richard Balmforth) ========================= About AP Essential News from The Associated Press AAA Jul. 4, 2016 2:15 PM ET Explosion near one of Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia By AYA BATRAWY, Associated Press THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATEMENT OF NEWS VALUES AND PRINCIPLES AIM Share In this Monday July 4, 2016 TV grab from footage released by Al-Ekhbariya, Saudi security forces investigate the scene of an explosion in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A suicide bomber carried out an attack early Monday near an American diplomatic site in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, according to the Interior Ministry. (Al-Ekhbariya via AP) More News Video The Latest: Explosion near one of Islam's holiest sites Jul. 4, 2016 1:53 PM ET Kuwait detains Islamic State suspects, foils attack Jul. 4, 2016 7:16 AM ET Suicide attack carried out near US diplomatic site in Saudi Jul. 4, 2016 12:03 AM ET Islamic State car bomb in Iraqi capital kills 115 Jul. 3, 2016 1:31 PM ET The Latest: US citizen among the victims in the Dhaka siege Jul. 2, 2016 12:34 PM ET Buy AP Photo Reprints DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — State-linked Saudi news websites reported an explosion Monday near one of Islam's holiest sites in the city of Medina, as two suicide bombers struck in different cities without killing anyone. Sabq news site reported the explosion, and other sites showed images of what appeared to be a fire outside one of the buildings overlooking the Prophet's Mosque. It was not immediately clear if anyone was killed or wounded in the blast. The sprawling mosque where the Prophet Muhammad is buried is visited by millions of Muslims from around the world each year during pilgrimages to Mecca. The area would have been packed with pilgrims for prayer during the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends this week. The Interior Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment. Also Monday evening, a suicide bomber and a car bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, according to a resident there, several hours after another suicide bomber carried out an attack near the U.S. Consulate in the western city of Jiddah. The possibility of coordinated, multiple attacks across different cities in Saudi Arabia on the same day underscores the threat the kingdom faces from extremists who view the Western-allied Saudi monarchy as heretics and enemies of Islam. Saudi Arabia is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The attack in the eastern region of Qatif did not appear to cause any injuries, said resident Mohammed al-Nimr, whose brother is Nimr-al-Nimr, a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric executed in January. He told The Associated Press the bomber detonated his suicide vest when most residents of the neighborhood were at home breaking the daily Ramadan fast. Qatif is heavily populated by Shiites, who are a minority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. Al-Nimr said that near the body of a suicide bomber was a car bomb that also went off around the same time. The IS group's local affiliates in the kingdom have previously attacked Shiite places of worship, including an attack on a Shiite mosque in Qatif in May 2015 that killed 21 people. Earlier Monday, the Interior Ministry said a suicide bomber had detonated his explosives when security guards approached him near the U.S. Consulate in Jiddah. The attacker died and the two security men were lightly wounded, according to the ministry statement, which was published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Some cars in the parking lot were damaged. Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki was quoted in the statement as saying the guards noticed the man was acting suspiciously at an intersection on the corner of the heavily fortified consulate, near a hospital and a mosque. The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia confirmed there were no casualties among consular staff, and said it remains in contact with Saudi authorities as they investigate. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The Interior Ministry did not say whether the bomber intended to target the U.S. diplomatic compound, adding that an investigation is underway to determine his identity. The state-run news channel al-Ekhbariya, quoting the Interior Ministry, said the bomber was not a Saudi citizen, but a resident of the kingdom. It gave no further details on his nationality. There are around 9 million foreigners living in Saudi Arabia, which has a total population of 30 million. Footage aired on the channel after the attack showed crime scene investigators and police casing the area for evidence and dusting for fingerprints. Al-Ekhbariya said security forces detonated six explosive devices found at the scene. A 2004 al-Qaida-linked militant attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jiddah killed five locally hired consular employees and four gunmen. The three-hour battle at the compound came amid a wave of al-Qaida attacks targeting Westerners and Saudi security posts. More recently, Saudi Arabia has been a target of Islamic State attacks that have killed dozens of people. In June, the Interior Ministry reported 26 terror attacks in the kingdom in the last two years. The U.S. Embassy regularly issues advisory messages for U.S. citizens in Saudi Arabia. In a message issued Sunday and another one issued after the attack Monday, the embassy urged Americans to "remain aware of their surroundings, and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country." It also advised citizens to "carefully consider the risks of traveling to Saudi Arabia." In neighboring Kuwait on Monday, security forces said they had arrested several suspects with alleged ties to IS, including an 18-year-old man who was planning to attack a Shiite mosque in the final days of Ramadan. Officials did not say when the arrests took place. An IS affiliate claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing carried out by a Saudi man last year in one of Kuwait's oldest Shiite mosques. That attack killed 27 people. Associated Press Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. AIM Share AP Privacy Policy | AP Terms of Use © Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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