Skip to main content

Blast in popular Baghdad coffee shop kills at least 27

By Mohammed Tawfeeq and Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 10:07 AM EDT, Fri April 19, 2013
Mourners give their condolences to family members of the victims who were killed in the explosion in Al- Amirya.
Mourners give their condolences to family members of the victims who were killed in the explosion in Al- Amirya.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Four of at least 27 people killed are children, police say
  • NEW: The building targeted in western Baghdad had an ice cream shop and medical offices
  • A bomb was hidden in a plastic bag and detonated around 10 p.m. local time
  • There have been several attacks ahead of Saturday's provincial elections

Baghdad (CNN) -- A bomb exploded on Thursday night in a popular coffee shop in western Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and wounding 51 others, city police officials said.

The bomb was hidden in a plastic bag and then put in a cafe in the Iraqi capital's al-Amriya neighborhood, where it detonated around 10 p.m. (3 p.m. ET), according to police.

They estimated the device contained about two kilograms of highly explosive material.

The explosion ripped through the three-story building, which also includes an ice cream parlor on the first floor and medical offices on the second floor. The coffee shop was on the third floor.

Deadly wave of bombings across Iraq

Most of those killed and hurt were young men, though four children were among the dead, police said.

Mostly Sunni Muslims live in the neighborhood, which is surrounded by walls except for one checkpoint staffed by Iraqi soldiers.

The violence follows a spate of attacks preceding the country's provincial elections, set for Saturday.

On Wednesday, three people died and 16 were wounded in four explosions in and around Baghdad, according to police.

There is concern that the security situation could affect the outcome of the vote, especially if Iraqis don't participate because of fears that polling stations may come under attack.

U.N. official Martin Kobler appealed Thursday for security forces to be on "heightened alert" so that citizens can vote "in a safe environment without fear of violence."

In the same statement, Kobler -- the special representative in Iraq for the U.N. secretary-general -- stressed that Iraqi leaders must "collectively endure a transparent and peaceful election, free of intimidation or political interference."

And he urged Iraqis to vote, casting it as their patriotic duty.

"I am calling on all women and men to cast their ballots for a better future for them and their children," Kobler said. "My appeal goes particularly to young Iraqis, because you are the future of this country."

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq reported from Baghdad and Greg Botelho wrote this story from Atlanta.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 3:00 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
A 9-year-old girl learning to fire a submachine gun accidentally killed her instructor at a shooting range, according to Arizona authorities.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
updated 2:44 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 4:15 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 12:44 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
The mother of a hostage freed after two years captivity says it's not time to party.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
"I just love it when I get milk-to-dark converts," says Kerrin Rousset, before she leads a small cocoa-hungry crowd through Zurich's Old Town.
ADVERTISEMENT