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IS behind Baghdad mall attack which leaves 18 dead

Published 11/01/2016

The Islamic State group often targets Iraq's Shiite majority
The Islamic State group often targets Iraq's Shiite majority

The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for a car bomb and suicide attack on a Baghdad mall in which 18 people were killed.

Iraqi officials said the attack, which lasted over an hour, also wounded at least 50 people in the city's mainly Shiite east.

The IS statement, posted online, said IS fighters carried out the attack and warned of "worse" to come. Iraqi officials said seven men were involved in the bombings.

Officials initially described the attack as a hostage situation, estimating that 50 people were trapped inside the complex. But Iraqi forces soon surrounded the building, landed troops on the roof and then clashed with the attackers inside, killing at least two of them and arresting the others before declaring the stand-off over.

At least four police officers were among those killed in the assault.

Following the attack, authorities shut down the city's highly fortified Green Zone, home to a number of foreign embassies and most of the country's political elite. A number of major roads, shopping malls and bridges around the Iraqi capital were also closed for fear of follow-up attacks.

In a separate attack, a car bomb in a market in south-east Baghdad killed five and wounded 12.

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