Dozens killed as Islamic State hits back with suicide bombings in Baghdad

A spate of Islamic State suicide bombings have left 39 people dead in and around the Iraqi capital Baghdad. The deadliest attack happened in a commercial area of a majority Shia neighbourhood where at least 15 civilians were killed and 35 wounded. Another blast occurred when a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into an Iraqi army checkpoint north of Baghdad. In another attack, in the town of Taji 12 miles north of Baghdad, seven civilians and five troops were killed, and up to 30 people were wounded.

The stakes are high for the prime minister and for the campaign on Daesh

Baghdad-based security analyst Hisham al-Hashimi

Baghdad has seen near-daily attacks in recent weeks by the Sunni militant group. The bombings are seen as an attempt to distract the security forces’ attention from fighting taking place on the front line. Islamic State was quick to claim responsibility, although the information could not be independently verified. They come as Iraqi special forces continue their push into the IS-held city of Fallujah as part of a large-scale military operation launched last month.