Bombings kill dozens hours before Baghdad curfew lifted

Bombings kill dozens hours before Baghdad curfew lifted
At least 36 killed and nearly 100 wounded in attacks in Iraq's capital, as officials prepare to lift a long-standing night time curfew in the city.
2 min read
07 February, 2015
Officials had been hoping to get Baghdad life 'back to normal'

Three separate bomb attacks ripped through restaurants and markets in Baghdad on Saturday, in what appears to be a coordinated operation. 

In the first blast, a suicide bomber detonated a belt in a busy restaurant in a predominantly Shia district, leaving 22 dead. 

The second attack involved two bomb blasts in the Sharqa market, claiming ten lives - while the third strike killed two people in the mainly Shia Dura neighbourhood.

The government had announced that a long-standing curfew in the capital would be lifted on Saturday evening, and four districts would be demilitarised.

The interior ministry spokesman, Brigadier-General Saad Maan said he did not believe the blasts were linked to the decision to lift the curfew.

The capital has largely been spared the violence that is ravaging much of the country, and the lifting of the curfew was intended to normalise daily life and convince the residents that the Islamic State group (IS, formerly known as Isis) no longer poses a threat.

Prime Minister Abadi's spokesman said earlier in the week they hoped to return to "normal life as much as possible, despite the existence of a state of war".

The curfew from midnight to 5am had been in place for seven years and some form of restriction of movement at night has been in place in Baghdad since the US invasion in 2003.

No group has yet accepted responsibility for Saturday's bombings.