Twin suicide blasts in Baghdad leave nearly 30 dead (UPDATED)
A rare twin suicide bombing killed nearly 30 in central Baghdad on Thursday, Iraqi state media said, the deadliest attack in the city in three years, AFP reports.
At least 28 people were killed and another 73 wounded in the attack on a huge open-air market for second-hand clothes in the Iraqi capital's Tayaran Square.
The market had been teeming with people following nearly a year of restrictions imposed across the country in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.
According to an interior ministry statement, the first suicide bomber rushed into the market, claiming to feel sick.
Once a crowd of people had gathered around him, he detonated his explosives.
As people then flocked around the victims, a second attacker detonated his bomb, the ministry said.
An AFP photographer at the scene said security forces had cordoned off the area, where blood-stained clothes were strewn about the muddy streets.
Paramedics were working to remove casualties, and Iraq's health ministry said it had mobilised medics across the capital.
Thursday's attack was the bloodiest incident in Baghdad since January 2018, when a suicide bomber also in Tayaran Square killed more than 30 people.
Suicide bombings had been commonplace in Baghdad during the sectarian bloodletting that followed the US-led invasion of 2003.
Later on, as the Islamic State group swept across much of Iraq, its jihadists also targeted the capital.
But with the group's territorial defeat in late 2017, suicide bombings in the city became rare.
Baghdad's notorious concrete blast walls were dismantled and checkpoints across the city removed.