More Death and Destruction from IS

More than 50 people have been killed after a truck bomb exploded in north-eastern Baghdad this morning, Iraqi officials say.

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The truck bomb targeted one of the busiest markets in Baghdad

The blast tore through the crowded Jameela market in the predominantly Shia district of Sadr City.

The Sunni jihadist group, Islamic State (IS), said it was behind the bombing and that it targeted Shia militiamen.

It came after a top US general said it should consider embedding American troops with Iraqi forces if progress was not made in the fight against IS.

Raymond Odierno, the army’s outgoing chief of staff, told reporters that such forces would have a support rather than a combat role. The US has already sent some 3,500 military trainers and advisers to Iraq.

Thursday’s bomb attack in Sadr City was one of the deadliest in the capital since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi took office a year ago.

A hospital official told the BBC at least 51 people were killed and 75 others injured.

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The explosion was one of the largest to hit Baghdad in the last year

In a statement posted on Twitter, IS said the truck bomb targeted Shia militiamen from the Mahdi Army and the Popular Mobilisation forces, who have been battling the jihadist group in northern and western Iraq for more than a year.

Sadr City has been the target of several bomb attacks this year claimed by IS militants, who consider Shia to be heretics.

Dozens of people have been killed in bombings across Baghdad in recent months. In May and July, large car bombs exploded outside two prominent hotels.

IS also continues to control vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq, but air strikes by a US-led coalition have helped Iraqi pro-government forces regain some territory since last August.

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Source: BBC News