Baghdad death toll rises to 250 after Isis suicide bombing

Interior Minister resigns after worst car bomb attack in Iraq since 2003 US invasion

The death toll from a massive suicide bombing in Baghdad over the weekend has reached 250, Iraq's Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The attack, claimed by Islamic State militants which the government is battling in the country’s north and west, was the deadliest of the many car bombings in Baghdad since the 2003 US-led invasion.

Iraq's interior minister Mohammed Ghabban resigned on Tuesday and said a deputy would take over his responsibilities.

His resignation will be official only if Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi approves it. Abadi's office had no immediate comment.


The bombing in Baghdad's central shopping district of Karrada on Saturday was the worst single car bomb attack in Iraq since US forces toppled Saddam Hussein 13 years ago.

Islamic State militants, who government forces are trying to eject from large swathes of northern and western territory seized in 2014, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The attack showed Islamic State remains capable of ad-hoc attacks causing major loss of life despite losing considerable ground on the battlefield, most recently the city of Falluja, an hour’s drive west of the capital.

The interior minister said that the explosive-packed vehicle came from the eastern province of Diyala, blaming a lack of communicating between multiple forces in charge of the capital's security.

Ghabban said last month that a recent spate of Islamic State bombings in Baghdad would not end unless “disorder” plaguing Iraq’s security apparatus was rectified.

He said then that security forces outside his control - including units reporting to two counter-terrorism agencies, two Defence Ministry directorates and regional security commands - overlap with his ministry's own counter-intelligence efforts.