Truck bomb kills at least 33 in Baghdad market

BAGHDAD- A truck bomb ripped through a market in a Shiite-majority area of north Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 33 people, security and medical officials said.

The early morning blast in a wholesale vegetable market in the Sadr City area, one of the deadliest single attacks to hit the Iraqi capital in months, also wounded at least 74 people, the officials said.

The bomb went off at around 6:00 am (0300 GMT), peak time for shops buying vegetables for the day.

Medics collected human remains at the scene of the blast, an AFP photographer said.

The bombing devastated the market, killing horses used to transport vegetables, burning vehicles and leaving produce strewn in the street.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State jihadist group frequently targets Shiites, whom it considers to be heretics.

In a bid to cause maximum casualties, the jihadists often strike areas such as markets and cafes where crowds of people gather.

IS overran large parts of Iraq in June 2014, and Iraqi forces are battling to drive the jihadists back with support from a US-led coalition and Iran.

Even before the IS offensive, bombings targeting civilians in Iraq were a major threat.

The Baghdad blast came two days after bombings in Diyala province, northeast of the capital, killed more than 30 people.

A massive suicide attack in the province killed more than 120 last month, one of the deadliest single bombings in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion.