Dozens of Iraqis were killed in a July 19 bombing during preparations for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in Baghdad. ISIS claimed responsibility several hours after the attack, which the Iraqi military suggests may have been carried out by a suicide bomber using locally produced explosives. 30 people were killed in the attack and 50 wounded.
Bombing in Baghdad
Suicide bombings and improvised explosive devices were relatively common in the Iraqi capital for years after the 2003 invasion, but the violence in Baghdad has finally begun to decline in recent years.
The unexpected Eid attack was particularly demoralizing to many Iraqis, who were hoping to celebrate the holiday in peace.
The attackers struck a crowded market in a majority Shiite area of Baghdad, seemingly timing the bombing to target shoppers buying food for their Eid celebrations.
The United States and the Iraqi government declared victory over ISIS in 2017, though the group continues to operate in Iraq, waiting for new opportunities to strike.
Though they are the likely culprits in the market bombing the ISIS claim of responsibility is currently unproven. Iraqi forces are continuing to investigate the site and have not yet verified the identity of the attackers.
“Not a day goes by in Iraq without a tragic incident”
Many Iraqis appeared to be as depressed as they were angry about the unexpected Eid night attack in Baghdad.
Iraqi President Barham Salih bitterly said “They do not allow people to rejoice, even for a moment” on Twitter after the bombing.
For many Iraqis the government is part of the problem. Authorities are still unable to prevent terrorism in the capital 18 years after the American invasion.
“Not a day goes by in Iraq without a tragic incident” one local told CNN. He added that he has lost hope that Iraq will ever become a safe place for his children to grow up.