Islamic state claims Baghdad bombs; parliament to meet on Sunday

Islamic state claims Baghdad bombs; parliament to meet on Sunday
# 08 July 2014 19:23 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Islamist militants claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Baghdad, and there were signs the deadlock paralysing Iraq's parliament might finally be loosening in the face of the threat from the "Islamic State" that has seized much of the country, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The Sunni Muslim group, which has taken over large areas of Syria and Iraq, posted web photos of two men with scarves covering their faces, posing in front of its black and white flag and machineguns. It identified them as the Baghdad bombers and said they were Lebanese and Libyan.

Five people were killed in the first blast at a cafe in the Washash district on Sunday night. Four police and three civilians were killed the next day at a checkpoint in Kadhimiya, a northern neighbourhood.

Both districts are predominately Shi'ite Muslim, raising fears the capital could return to the days of sectarian bloodletting from 2006-2007.

Baghdad had seen few attacks compared to the violence in other areas hit by the Islamic State's lightning offensive last month.

Hopes that political paralysis in Baghdad may be broken with the formation of a new government to confront the insurgency were dashed on Monday when parliament delayed its next meeting for five weeks - only to reverse its decision 24 hours later.

On Tuesday the acting speaker of the new parliament Mehdi al-Hafidh said parliament would bring forward the session to Sunday, instead of August 12.

"Any delay in this could jeopardize the security of Iraq and its democratic course and increase the suffering of the Iraqi people," the speaker said.