19 die in twin explosions in Baghdad

Baghdad, Dec 31 (IANS) At least 19 persons were killed and 45 injured when two roadside bombs exploded at a busy market in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad on Saturday, a source said.

A bomb detonated in the crowded car spare parts market in Sinak area while another exploded near a post office in the same area, Xinhua news agency quoted the Interior Ministry source as saying.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the Islamic State militant group is mostly responsible for targeting Iraqi security forces as well as crowded areas across the country.

Terrorist acts, violence and armed conflict killed 2,885 Iraqis and injured 1,380 others in November across the country, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said.

The attacks came as the security forces backed by an anti-IS international coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS from its last major stronghold in and around Mosul.

Many blame the current chronic instability, cycle of violence and the emergence of extremist groups such as the IS on the US, which invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003.