Two suicide bombers have blown themselves up at a busy market in central Baghdad in back-to-back explosions that killed at least 38 people, Iraqi officials say.
The attackers struck during rush hour on Monday morning in the city’s Tayran Square, which is usually crowded with labourers seeking work. The explosions also wounded at least 105 people, the officials said.
The death toll has grown since earlier reports from the health ministry, which said 26 people had been killed, and the interior ministry, which said 16 had died. Both said dozens had been wounded.
Ambulances rushed to the scene as security forces sealed off the area. Slippers could be seen scattered about on the blood-stained pavement as cleaners hurried to clear the debris. Photographs posted on social media showed dead bodies and body parts.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but it bore all the hallmarks of Islamic State, which has claimed many such atrocities in the past, reports The Guardian.
The explosions shocked residents as there have been significantly fewer large attacks in Baghdad and other parts of country since security forces retook nearly all territory once held by Isis militants.
Iraqi and US officials had warned that Isis would continue with insurgent-style attacks even after the Iraqi military and US-led coalition succeeded in ousting the group across the country.
The cost of victory has been nearly incalculable as the three-year Isis insurgency devastated much of northern and western Iraq.