Dual suicide bombing attacks kill more than 30 in Baghdad

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Jan. 21 (UPI) — Two suicide bombings targeted a marketplace in central Baghdad on Thursday, the first of its kind there in nearly two years.

Authorities said the first suicide bomber faked an illness and had asked for help when his explosive device went off. The second rode in on a motorcycle and detonated his bomb in the chaos that followed.

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More than 30 people were killed in the blasts and dozens were injured, authorities said.

Such dual bombings were commonplace in Iraq in the mid-2000s during the U.S. anti-terror campaign, but have been relatively scarce for years.

“The twin terrorist bombings … confirm the attempts and endeavors by dark groups to target the national needs and aspirations of the Iraqi people for a peaceful future,” Iraqi President Barham Salih said in a tweet.

“We stand firmly against these rogue attempts to destabilize our country.”

No one immediately claimed the responsibility for the attack, but some expressed concern about the Islamic State, which still has sleeper cells in Iraq.

Twenty-eight were killed at the same market square in a 2018 attack.

Iraq has faced multiple political and economic challenges recently. Baghdad agreed this week to push parliamentary elections from June to October because of “technical reasons,” and Iraq’s currency has lost value over the last week as the government grapples with a multi-trillion-dollar deficit.