BAGHDAD (AP) – Families buried loved ones on Tuesday who were killed in a deadly bombing that left at least 30 people dead hours earlier in a bustling market in the Iraqi capital.
The coffins were carried by relatives and placed in minibuses that transported them for burial. Funerals were held for the victims of the blast the day before in a crowded market in Sadr City, a suburb of Baghdad.
The Iraqi military said it had concluded an investigation into the bombing and discovered it was caused by a suicide bomber detonating a vest full of explosives in the middle of a popular market. Iraqi security officials initially said the attack was caused by a roadside bomb.
The military said in a statement that at least 50 people were injured in the attack. This was the third time militants have targeted Sadr City this year.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack and said in an online statement that the bombing was carried out by Abu Hamza al-Iraqi.
The attack happened a day before the Eid al-Adha holiday, when many locals were shopping for gifts. New clothes are usually donated during the holidays.
Hussein al-Lami buried his nephews Murtada and 12-year-old Amir Sahi the night before, shortly after they were killed in the attack.
“The calamity has been enormous, especially for the parents and relatives of the two martyrs,” he said. “Today, Iraqis are spending Eid with calamity after suffering from this terrorist act. Now there is misery in every Iraqi home.
In June, 15 people were injured when a bomb placed under a kiosk in another market in Sadr City exploded. In April, at least four people were killed in a car bomb in Sadr City. This explosion was caused by an explosive device attached to a car parked in the market.
Large-scale bombings, once almost daily in Baghdad, have slowed in recent years since ISIS’s defeat on the battlefield in 2017.
At the Vatican, the Pope expressed his deep sadness at the loss of life in the explosion on Monday, according to the text of a telegram addressed on his behalf to the papal envoy in Iraq.
Francis “sends his condolences to the families and friends of those who have died,” the Vatican said Tuesday evening. Francis “also renews his fervent prayers that no act of violence diminishes the efforts of those who strive to promote reconciliation and peace in Iraq”.
The pontiff made a pilgrimage to Iraq in March that emphasized peaceful coexistence in the country.
Associated Press writer Frances D’Emilio in Rome contributed.