Iraq: Suicide Bombing in Baghdad Kills at Least 6 People

Citizens inspect the scene after a Jan. 8 car bomb explosion at a crowded outdoor market in Baghdad's eastern district of Sadr City, Iraq. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)
Citizens inspect the scene after a Jan. 8 car bomb explosion at a crowded outdoor market in Baghdad's eastern district of Sadr City, Iraq. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

BAGHDAD -- A suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car Sunday in a bustling commercial area in the Iraqi capital, killing at least six civilians and wounding 10 others, an official said, the latest in a recent bout of violence claimed by the Islamic State group.

Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan said a member of the security forces spotted the car bomber and opened fire, but was unable to prevent him from detonating his vehicle outside the Jamila wholesale market in Baghdad's sprawling Shiite district of Sadr City.

Another police officer and two medical officials in nearby hospitals put the casualty figures at 14 killed and 42 wounded. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

IS quickly claimed responsibility in an online statement, saying the bomber was targeting Shiites. The Associated Press could not verify the authenticity of the statement, but it was posted on a militant website commonly used by the extremists.

The Islamic State group has carried out a string of bombings in Baghdad over the past week, killing nearly 100 people. The deadliest was last week when a suicide bomber in another commercial area in Sadr City killed 41 people and wounded 64 others.

Commercial and public areas are among the militants' most frequent targets as they seek to undermine public confidence in the government's ability to maintain security. Baghdad has been the scene of near daily bomb attacks claimed by IS in what is seen as an attempt to distract attention as the militants cede territory along front lines in northern and western Iraq.

The attack came a day after Iraqi government troops made fresh progress in their push to retake the northern IS-held city of Mosul, dislodging militants from new areas and for the first time approaching the Tigris River that divides the city.

Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul fell to IS in the summer of 2014 as the militants swept over much of the country's north and central areas. If successful, the retaking of the city would be the biggest blow yet to IS. Mosul is the largest remaining city in the self-declared IS "caliphate" spanning Iraq and Syria.

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Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj in Baghdad contributed to this report.

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