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Suicide bombing kills 28 in Baghdad, Iraqi military leader blames ISIS 'sleeper cell'

"This is a terrorist act," said Maj. Gen. Tahsin al-Khafaji, spokesman for the Joint Operations Command.

Updated: January 21, 2021 - 1:28pm

At least 28 people were killed Thursday in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad when two bombs were detonated inside a busy market, according to multiple news reports.

The twin explosions are being reported by the Associated Press as a suicide attack in the city's  Bab al-Sharqi commercial area, in central Baghdad.

The explosion also injured 73 people and came amid political tensions over Iraq's severe economic crisis and planned early elections. 

Maj. Gen. Tahsin al-Khafaji, spokesman for the Joint Operations Command, which includes an array of Iraqi forces, said the first suicide bomber cried out loudly that he was ill in the middle of the bustling market, prompting a crowd to gather around him, after which he detonated his explosive belt. 

The second then detonated his belt shortly. 

"This is a terrorist act perpetrated by a sleeper cell of the Islamic State," al-Khafaji told the wire service.

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