Middle East

Baghdad cafe bombing: At least five dead

Municipal workers clean up after an overnight suicide bombing in Baghdad's al-Shoala suburb (AFP)

At least five people were killed and several others wounded when a suicide bomber struck a cafe in Baghdad where people had gathered after breaking their daily Ramadan fast, police said on Thursday.

"A suicide bomber blew up his explosive belt while he was surrounded by police near a public garden in Al-Shoala district," a mainly Shia northern neighbourhood of the capital, a security forces statement said.

A police source told AFP four people had been killed and 16 others wounded in the overnight bombing.

Those killed were a woman, a girl and three police officers, according to the source.

A suicide bombing in Shu'la neighbourhood in #Baghdad kills 12 and more injured.

My city has been hit again in #Ramadan. pic.twitter.com/2N6TNE0rrW

— Mohammed Husain J. (@mohusain313) May 23, 2018

Cafes in Iraq are particularly busy at night during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when families and friends gather to relax and eat before the fast starts again at dawn.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.

In December, Iraq claimed victory over the Islamic State (IS) group after a gruelling campaign to retake swathes of territory captured by the group.

But IS still carries out sporadic bombings and the country has seen near-daily attacks during the past 15 years since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

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