Multiple news outlets report the death toll is between 165 and 200. Another 225 people were injured in Sunday’s blast, which occurred in the Karrada district after midnight when families were shopping for Eid-al-Fitr, the day that marks the end of the Muslim holy month, Ramadan.
The Islamic State, continuing their destructive rampage during the month of Ramadan, claimed responsibility for the attack.
In response, the government declared three days of mourning in the capital. Iraq’s prime minister also ordered new security measures in the wake of the attack, ABC reports.
With public anger mounting, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered new security measures Sunday evening, including increased aerial scanning and intelligence-gathering in the capital and the installation of X-ray systems at the entrances of provinces.
He also ordered security forces to stop using a handheld electronic device that was widely sold as a bomb detector but has been repeatedly branded bogus by technical experts. And he ordered the reopening of an investigation into the purchase of the ADE 651s, which cost the Iraqi government tens of thousands of dollars each.
Before the start of the holy month, ISIS claimed they would carry out more attacks during Ramadan. Just last week, ISIS claimed responsibility for a deadly attack at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.
The death toll in the latest bombing is expected to rise as emergency crews remain on the scene, searching for missing persons and pulling bodies from the rubble.
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