ISIS has claimed responsibility for a major attack at a shopping mall in Baghdad on Monday that killed at least 18 people.
According to Reuters, ISIS said the attack at the Jawhara mall was specifically intended to kill Shiite Muslims. The mall is in a neighborhood called Baghdad al-Jadida that is home to mostly Shiites. The attack began with a car bomb blast at the entrance to the mall, then continued as several fighters shot their way into the mall and two of them detonated suicide vests. The attack, when combined with three other blasts that took place on Monday in other areas of Baghdad, was the largest to hit the city in months. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the other attacks.
While bombings aren’t rare in Iraq, Monday’s attack was unusually complex and potentially an ISIS attempt at revenge for the Iraqi Army’s recent battlefield successes. “The enemy is using new tactics because of our recent victories [against them] in Ramadi and other areas,” Lieutenant General Abdulameer al-Shimmari, the head of the Baghdad Operations Command, told the Washington Post.