Four gunmen charged into a shopping mall in eastern Baghdad on Monday after a car bomb exploded outside, killing at least seven people, two police sources said. State television said security forces were surrounding the site of “a terrorist attack” in Baghdad Jadida, citing an interior ministry spokesman. Officials estimated that 50-75 people were trapped in the mall. A hospital official confirmed the death toll and said 14 people were also reported to have been wounded in the attack.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Islamic State militants controlling large swathes of Iraq’s north and west regularly target Shi’ite districts and security forces in the capital and elsewhere. Iraq is also gripped by a sectarian conflict mostly between Shi’ites and Sunnis that has been exacerbated by the rise of the ultra-hardline Sunni insurgents of Islamic State.
Earlier in the day, three people were killed and eight others wounded when a car bomb claimed by Islamic State went off near a restaurant in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, security and medical sources said. The terror attack is the first major strike made by ISIS in the Iraqi capital.
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