In two separate suicide-bomb attacks Tuesday, ISIS terrorists murdered at least 31 civilians and wounded more than 50 others.
A massive bombing by the Islamic State group outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad and a rush hour car bomb in another downtown area killed at least 31 people on Tuesday, Iraqi officials said.
The attacks come as ISIS terrorists are steadily losing more territory to U.S.-backed Iraqi forces in the battle for Mosul, the country’s second-largest city. The Sunni extremists are increasingly turning to insurgency-style terror attacks to detract from their losses.
The nighttime attack outside the ice cream parlor in the bustling Karrada neighborhood killed 17 people and wounded 32, police and health officials said.
In the second attack, an explosives-laden car went off during rush hour near the state-run Public Pension Office in Baghdad’s busy Shawaka area, killing 14, a police officer said. At least 37 people were wounded in that attack, he added.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
In separate online statements, ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks, saying its suicide bombers targeted gatherings of Shiites. The Associated Press could not verify the authenticity of the statements but they were posted on a website commonly used by terrorists.
The attacks came just days into the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours. After sundown, families break their fast and Baghdad’s restaurants and cafes quickly fill up with people staying up long into the night.