At least 72 people were killed and more than 140 injured in Baghdad when three bombs went off Tuesday, according to police and medical sources.
The explosions hit Shia-dominated neighbourhoods in the north and south of the Iraqi capital as well as the Sadr City district.
The three blasts, which appeared not to be connected, struck different areas of Baghdad, and extend a deadly spate of attacks that the Iraqi capital has had to endure this year. The worst explosion hit a district in the north of Baghdad, killing 38 people and injuring at least 70 others.
A spokesman for Baghdad Operations Command told state television that the attacker in the Al-Shaab district in the north of the Baghdad had detonated a suicide vest in coordination with a bomb which had been planted.
— Mustafa Al-Khaqani (@Khaqani_M) May 17, 2016
The two Al-Shaab blasts hit a predominantly Shiite area, while initial investigations claim the attacker was a woman. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) said it was responsible for the deadly attacks.
This was followed by a car bomb in the southern neighborhood of Al-Rasheed which left six people dead, while another 21 received injuries.
A few hours later, Iraqi officials cited by Reuters said a suicide car bomb struck a crowded market in the mainly Shiite Sadr City, killing 28 and injuring 57, bringing the total death toll in the capital up to at least 72, while over 140 people have suffered injuries.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi ordered the arrest of the senior official in charge of Al-Shaab’s security, though his office did not give a reason for why he was detained, Reuters reports.
The IS terror group was also responsible for bombings which killed around 100 people in Baghdad last week.
The three latest attacks come just two days after IS launched assaults on a state cooking gas factory in the north of Baghdad, which killed 14 people and injured a further 27.