BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The death toll from a suicide bombing in Baghdad this weekend has reached 292, Iraq’s Health Ministry said on Thursday.
The attack, claimed by the militant group Islamic State, which government forces are trying to eject from large parts of the north and west of the country, was the deadliest bombing in Iraq since U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein 13 years ago.
The militants have lost ground since last year to U.S.-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias but the weekend bombing showed they can still strike Baghdad despite having lost Falluja, their nearby stronghold, in June.
More than 200 people were wounded in the attack in a busy shopping street in the mainly Shi’ite Karrada district of central Baghdad. About 23 of the wounded were still in hospital, health ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Rudaini told Reuters.
Earlier on Thursday, the ministry had put the toll at 281 and it rose as more people, registered as missing, were identified as dead, Rudaini said.
Iraq Body Count, a volunteer-led organisation that has been counting deaths since 2003, estimates civilian deaths since then at between 160,000 and 180,000, and the toll for violent deaths including combatants at more than 250,000.
Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Louise Ireland