• Press Release

Deadly bomb attacks in Baghdad show disgraceful disregard for human life

May 17, 2016

Today’s multiple bombings in Baghdad, in which media agencies have reported the deaths of at least 63 people and injuries to at least 90 others, are the latest in a horrific spike in deadly attacks that have hit the country over the past week, Amnesty International said today.

“The spike in deadly bomb attacks across Baghdad, in predominantly Shia areas, will outrage anyone who places value on human life,” said James Lynch, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“The bloody toll from these attacks, which is predominantly civilian, has been growing steadily over the past seven days.”

“Today’s sickening attacks, carried out in daytime, in areas well known to be frequented by civilians such as busy markets, display a total disregard for the lives of civilians and the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law.”

According to media reports, this morning’s first bomb which detonated in a market in the Al-Shaab neighborhood of Baghdad killed at least 38 and injured 70. A second in the al-Rasheed neighborhood killed at least six and wounded 21, while a third attack targeted a market in Sadr City, a Shia district east of Baghdad, killing at least 19 more, media reports said.

Iraq’s Ministry of Interior told Amnesty International that at least 43 people had been killed and at least 84 injured in the three attacks today.

The armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the first attack in Al-Shaab, saying that it had targeted members of the Popular Mobilization Units, militia groups which have been fighting the IS alongside government forces.

On May 11, media reported that at least 68 people were killed and over 80 wounded in a car bomb attack in a market in Sadr City. Later that day at least 18 people, including five police officers, were killed by a bomb at a security checkpoint in the predominantly Shia Kadhimiya neighborhood and a further seven were killed by an attack at a checkpoint in Jamiya, media reports said. The day was dubbed the year's bloodiest day for Baghdad.

“The deliberate targeting of civilians is strictly prohibited and can never be justified. International humanitarian law also prohibits attacks that fail to distinguish between civilians and fighters or that disproportionately harm civilians,” said Lynch.

“The groups responsible for these attacks, including the so-called Islamic State, must end these deliberate attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks and abide by the laws of war.”