BAGHDAD – A series of attacks, mainly car bombings targeting security forces and markets, killed at least 30 people Wednesday in Iraq’s capital, authorities said.
The deadliest attack took place when twin car bombs hit a police checkpoint near a pet market, killing at least 19 people, officials said.
Police said the attack began when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a checkpoint manned by traffic police in the southeastern neighbourhood of New Baghdad, killing five policemen and wounding nine.
Seconds later, a car bomb explosion near the market killed 14 people and wounded 35, police said. Several cars were damaged in the blasts.
Security forces sealed off all the roads leading to the attack site.
Wednesday night, police said a suicide car bomb hit a police post in Ghadeer district in southeastern Baghdad, killing six police officers and two civilians. A sticky bomb attached to a mini-bus also exploded in southeastern Baghdad, killing three passengers, police said.
Medical officials confirmed the casualties from all attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
The attacks come after the Islamic State group captured large swaths of territory in western and northern Iraq in a lightning offensive earlier this year, plunging the country into its worst crisis since U.S. troops left at the end of 2011.
Washington has urged Iraq’s feuding factions to set aside their differences in order to confront the insurgency.
The country’s once-dominant Sunni minority long has complained of being marginalized and discriminated against, and Sunni grievances with Baghdad are seen as one of the main factors fueling the rise of the Islamic State group.
Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj contributed to this report.