Suicide, car bomb attacks kill 18, wound 51 in northern Baghdad
BAGHDADOct 03, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Oct 03, 2015 12:00 am
Two bomb attacks killed 18 people and injured 51 in Baghdad on Saturday, security officials said.
Fifteen people were killed and 40 injured in a car bomb attack followed by a suicide bombing in the mainly Shiite Kadhimiya district in the north of the Iraqi capital.
Another three people were killed and 11 injured in another bomb attack in the nearby Hurriyeh district, officials said.
Iraq sees regular bomb attacks on Shiite civilian targets, many of which have been claimed by the ISIS organization.
The group has controlled much of Sunni-dominated western and northern Iraq for over a year, despite an intensive US-led air campaign to back up the country's security forces.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi earlier said that he would welcome any decision by Russia to join in airstrikes against the jihadists.
"We are the ones who decide who helps us fight Daesh [ISIS], unlike in Syria where the international coalition is striking targets without the agreement of the Syrian government," al-Abadi said.
Iraq last week announced the formation of a joint intelligence group on ISIS with Syria, Russia and Iran, to be based in Baghdad.
The move came days before Russia launched airstrikes in Syria with the agreement of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia said the strikes were targeting ISIS, but many of them took place in areas controlled by rebels and forces hostile to the extremist group.
The strikes have drawn harsh criticism from the US and other supporters of the Syrian opposition, who on Friday called on Russia to "cease its attacks on the Syrian opposition and civilians and to focus its efforts on fighting ISIL."
Al-Abadi said that 3,000 military advisers from the United States and 2,000 from other countries were present on Iraqi soil with the government's agreement.
But, he added, there were no foreign troops engaged in ground combat in Iraq.
ISIS overran swathes of Iraq in a lightning offensive last year. It also controls most of eastern Syria, and has won the allegiance of groups in a number of other countries.