A Sunday bombing in Iraq — marking one of Baghdad’s bloodiest days in a decade — capped off a week of Islamic-State linked attacks spanning the globe. Before Iraq came a suicide bombing at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, which Turkey blamed on ISIS, and an attack by gunmen on a restaurant in Bangladesh’s capital. John Yang reports.
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A spate of recent attacks around the world shows the growing global reach of the Islamic State and its followers. In Iraq alone this weekend, at least 157 people were killed in one of Baghdad’s deadliest bombing since the 2003 invasion.
More than 24 hours after the attack, makeshift teams were still pulling bodies out of charred buildings. It was one of Baghdad’s bloodiest days in over a decade. Officials say they expect the death toll to climb. It left residents visibly shaken.
ZINA MOHAMMED, Relative of Victim (through translator):
May God punish those who were responsible for such a bombing. So many people are still under the debris.
ALA KHUDIER, Baghdad Resident (through translator):
This street is one of the most beautiful streets in Baghdad. It’s like the Champs Elysees in France. We were smelling flowers from a distance out of this street. Now we are smelling dead bodies.
The Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility for the suicide truck bombing in the largely Shiite neighborhood. Many of the victims were young, gathering to break the day’s fast, part of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Sunday’s bombings capped a week of ISIS-linked attacks spanning the globe. Last Tuesday, three suicide bombers stormed Turkey’s Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, killing at least 45 people. Turkish officials blamed ISIS, although there was no direct claim of responsibility. Most were foreigners. One was American.
MAN (through translator):
Two people opened fire in the air. Then I shouted and ran to a safe area. They closed the gate chanting Allahu akbar opened fire.
ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack as well. All this comes as ISIS has lost significant territory in places that were once its strongholds, Iraq and Syria.
Last week, Iraqi forces fully liberated the city of Fallujah, which the group had controlled since 2014. Iraqi officials attribute the uptick in suicide bombings to ISIS losses on the battlefield.
We will have more on the threat of the Islamic State right after the news summary.