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Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly market attack in Baghdad

In Baghdad, a truck bomb ripped through a crowded food market just after dawn, resulting in one of the deadliest attacks in the Iraqi capital in years. The assault comes as the prime minister is facing pressure to drive back the Islamic State militants, who claimed responsibility. Judy Woodruff reports.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The fight against the Islamic State hit another setback today, as the extremist group claimed responsibility for the deaths of more than 60 people in a Baghdad truck bombing.

    It was one of the deadliest attacks in the Iraqi capital in years. Just after dawn, a truck bomb ripped through the Jameela food market in the mainly Shiite neighborhood known as Sadr City.

  • MAN (through interpreter):

    It was around 6:00, and the market was very crowded. There are many bombings in the world, but that like this at such a crowded place is quite rare. This is why it's such a tragedy

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Smoke rose from the charred debris, as rescuers pulled bodies from the wreckage. And at a nearby hospital, families tended to wounded relatives.

    The Islamic State group, dominated by Sunni extremists, claimed responsibility. In a social media post, it said Shiites must — quote — "experience the same harm as their bombardments cause to our Muslim people."

    The attack came as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is under pressure to drive back the militants. He's pushed reforms through Parliament this week to root out corruption and bolster the military.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. military says it launched its first manned airstrikes from Turkey yesterday on Islamic State targets in Syria. But the Turkish foreign minister disputed that statement today.

    MEVLUT CAVUSOGLU, Foreign Minister, Turkey (through interpreter): Yesterday, U.S. forces didn't hit Islamic State targets after taking off from Turkey. Airstrikes against Islamic State are currently being carried out from other countries in the region, like Jordan. Jets taking off from Turkey have not yet joined the operation. Those are reconnaissance flights.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Turkey has stepped up its own involvement in the fight against is, but the foreign minister said today his government doesn't plan to send ground forces into Syria.

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