AP: Truck bombing at Baghdad market kills 62; IS claims blast
A massive truck bomb ripped through a popular Baghdad food market in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood early Thursday morning, killing at least 62 people, police officials said, according to Associated Press (AP).
The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it targeted a gathering place of Shiites and vowed more attacks, AP reported.
The truck detonated in the Jameela market in the Iraqi capital's crowded Sadr City neighborhood shortly after dawn, according to two local police officers.
They also said that at least 125 people were wounded in the attack. The market is the main center for produce and food sales in the Iraqi capital.
Residents of the Shiite community rushed to help the victims, carrying corpses in garbage bags and blankets, and sent the wounded to local hospitals in ambulances or personal cars. The blast incinerated much of the market, leaving charred wooden market stalls and scattering fruits and vegetables far around it.
Fire trucks and ambulances were at the scene and fire men were dousing the still-smoldering complex with water long after the explosion.
"On Thursdays the market is especially crowded because people come from the other provinces to stock up on food for the weekend," one of the officers said.
He said the truck that set off the explosion was a refrigeration truck, so it was impossible to distinguish it from other trucks delivering produce to the market.
Sadr City, a predominantly Shia area, has been the target of several blasts by the radical Sunni militant group Islamic State.
The blast is one of the largest to strike Baghdad since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi took office in August 2014, Reuters says.
A number of car bombs have targeted the city in recent months. Dozens were killed during Ramadan in July and in May, two large car bombs struck outside two of Baghdad's largest hotels.