Car bombs, suicide attack kill 35 in Iraq, hitting Ramadan crowd

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two car bombs and a suicide bomber killed at least 35 people in Baghdad and in a city to the west, and wounded more than 100 in Tuesday attacks targeting the late-night crowds typical of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, security sources said.

Islamic State, the Sunni hardline group that controls parts of Iraq and Syria, claimed all three attacks in statements on its Amaq news agency.

A car packed with explosives blew up near a popular ice cream shop in the commercial Karrada district, killing at least 13 people and wounding 40 just after midnight.

A few hours later, a second bombing killed 10 people and wounded 44 more near a government office in Karkh district.

And in the evening, a man detonated an explosive vest at an army check point in a commercial street of Hit, a Sunni town west of Baghdad, killing 12, including seven military members, and wounding at least 24.

During Ramadan many Muslims stay up until the early hours, going out to spend time with their families, shop and eat before dawn breaks and the next day’s fast begins.

Karrada was hit by a massive truck bomb in July 2016 that killed at least 324 people, the deadliest attack in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003.

Islamic State has been retreating in Iraq since the end of 2015 in the face of U.S.-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Shi’ite paramilitary groups.

It is now besieged in an enclave in the northern city of Mosul, which it has used as its de facto capital in Iraq. Islamic State declared from Mosul a “caliphate” over parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Alison Williams and Sandra Maler