January 2, 2017: Baghdad

The Associated Press reports that a suicide bomber driving a pickup loaded with explosives struck a bustling market in Baghdad on Monday, January 2, killing at least 36 people and wounding another 52. (Reuters reports somewhat different numbers: 24 killed and 67 dead). The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group hours after French President Francois Hollande arrived in the Iraqi capital.

The bomb went off in a fruit and vegetable market that was packed with day laborers, a police officer said. The bomber pretended to be a man seeking to hire day laborers. Once the workers gathered around, he detonated the vehicle. Dead bodies were scattered across the bloody pavement alongside fruit, vegetables and laborers’ shovels and axes. Nine of the victims were women in a passing minibus that went up was on fire.

“We have no idea who will kill at any moment and who’s supposed to protect us,” said Ali Abbas, a 40-year old father of four who was hurled over his vegetable stand by the blast. “If the securities forces can’t protect us, then allow us to do the job,” he added.

Al menos 36 muertos y 52 heridos en un ataque suicida en Baghdad, según informaciones de Associated Press.

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