As predicted, Joe Biden’s abrupt withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has re-energized the jihadist groups including Islamic State (ISIS), as on the Eid ul Adha day, ISIS have claimed responsibility for bomb attacks that ripped through a busy market in Iraqi capital killing more than 30 people and wounding over 50.
CNN said, children and women were among the dead and wounded, according to health and security officials. The attacker detonated his explosive vest in the Wahailat outdoor market in Sadr City, a predominantly Muslim Shia neighborhood in the east of Baghdad.
Police officials said a number of shops and stores were also damaged in the blast.
The market, like many other public places, had been packed with shoppers preparing to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Videos published on social media show women holding their babies and screaming as they flee the scene.
ISIS claimed responsibility hours after the blast happened, saying in a statement that it had been carried out by a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest. The terror group provided no evidence to support the claim.
In a statement on Monday, the Iraqi military said the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED). However, two police officers said they have yet to determine the cause of the blast, as the investigation is still underway.
Top Iraqi government officials, including the Iraqi President and Iraqi Prime Minister, condemned the “terrorist attack” and vowed to bring perpetrators to justice.
“We will not be calm unless we uproot the hateful and cowardly terrorism, and it is certain that the will of the Iraqis is beyond their criminality and villainy,” President Barham Salih said in a statement released by his office.
Col. Wayne Marotto, the military spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, the global coalition to defeat what remains of the ISIS caliphate, offered its condolences for the victims’ families in a tweet on Monday.
“This horrific attack right before Eid Al-Adha is a terrible reminder of the violence Iraqi children continue to face,” said Sheema Sen Gupta, the UNICEF Representative in Iraq, in a statement on Monday.
“On the eve of Eid Al-Adha and as Iraqis mourn this sad moment, UNICEF calls for all actors in Iraq to work together towards a safer Iraq where children do not have to live in fear and where they enjoy their very basic activities and rights,” Gupta said.
ISIS starts expanding footprint in India
According to media reports, Indian intelligence agency has found direct footprint of banned terrorist group ISIS in Jammu and Kashmir with the arrest of one of its founding members Qasim Khorasani and two of his associates on Monday. The Indian intelligence agency has been diligently tracking their movement for the past one year.
In April 2020, Umar Nisar Bhat aka Qasim Khorasani, one of the founding members of ISIS module in Jammu and Kashmir, also involved in recruiting IS cadres there, was identified by Indian intel agencies on a messaging app. Khorasani, who was earlier thought to be in Khorasan in Afghanistan, was later found to be based in Achabal, a small town in Anantnag district with the help of Indian and foreign agencies, was chatting with group members on Telegram about the production and circulation of magazine Swat Al-Hind (Voice of Hind), which would propagate the idea of Wilayat Al-Hind (Islamic State province in India).
Wilayat Al-Hind (Islamic State province in India) was established in 2019 in May to focus on India-specific ‘activities’. The idea behind its formation was to incite Indian Muslims on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), avenge Babri Masjid demolition and atrocities in Kashmir. It has praised highly Indian fighters in Khorasan, Syria and Iraq and Indian Mujahideen for carrying out attacks in India.
The platform also invoked Ghazwa-e-Hind, which means ‘Holy War against India’. According to Ghazwa-e-Hind, forces from Syria with black flags will come marching towards India and will conquer the country and convert it into an Islamic state.
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