Iraq Suicide Bombing Kills at least 18 in Baghdad

French President Francois Hollande arrives at the airport in Baghdad, Iraq on Jan 2. Only hours after his arrival, a suicide bomber struck in the city. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
French President Francois Hollande arrives at the airport in Baghdad, Iraq on Jan 2. Only hours after his arrival, a suicide bomber struck in the city. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi officials say a suicide bomber has blown up his explosives-laden vehicle in a bustling market area in Baghdad, killing at least 18 people.

A police officer says the bomber driving a pickup truck attacked an outdoor fruit and vegetable market, daily laborers and a police checkpoint in Baghdad's eastern Sadr City district. He said up to 25 other people were wounded in that attack.

Two medical officials confirmed casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but it has all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which has staged multiple similar attacks in the past. The attack came as French President Francois Hollande started an official visit to Iraq to meet officials and French troops.

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