Multiple sources are reporting breaking news out of Iraq this morning, where gunmen have reportedly stormed a Baghdad shopping mall, killing as many as ten people, wounding dozens more and taking hostages.
Gunmen in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad killed seven people [other sources, including Fox News, report 10 killed, including three police officers] and wounded 27 more, taking hostages after a car bomb exploded outside a mall in the east of the city on Monday, police sources told Reuters.
Twenty gunmen are reported to have entered the shopping center. It remains unclear how many people they are holding hostage. Fox News reports that officials estimate 50-75 people trapped in the mall.
The site of the attack was the Jawaher mall in the predominantly Shiite Muslim district.
No group has yet claimed responsibility but the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has conducted a series of suicide attacks in the capital and controls large areas of territory in the western Anbar province, near Baghdad, and in the country’s northern regions.
Another car bomb, claimed by ISIS, killed three people and wounded eight more on Monday in Baquba, some 65 kilometers northeast of Baghdad.
Of course, we’ll be monitoring this as more news develops.
Sadly, these types of attacks are becoming more and more common. The result of inadequate gun control in Iraq? Or could it be perhaps the result of a military strategy in Iraq based more on optics than results, and a decided lack of strategy in fighting ISIS that has allowed it to thrive in recent years?
And while it used to feel like this was something that happens just “over there,” we all know that’s increasingly no longer the case.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]