NEW: ISIS says it's behind car bombings in two mostly Shiite Baghdad neighborhoods
NEW: The militant group says it was targeting a Shiite militia
At least 2 other deadly car bombings occur elsewhere in Iraq
ISIS laid claim to a pair of deadly suicide car bombings Tuesday in Baghdad, one of which killed at least 18 people and wounded 43 more.
That attack occurred in a busy commercial area of New Baghdad or al-Jadida, a neighborhood in the Iraqi capital that is home mostly to Shiite Muslims.
In addition to that blast, ISIS also said that its militants were behind a similar attack in the largely Shiite southeastern Baghdad neighborhood of al-Zafaraniya that left two dead and nine others wounded, according to police.
ISIS claimed not only higher death tolls – 40 dead in al-Jadida and 25 in al-Zafaraniya – but that both car bombings targeted members of a Shiite militia known as Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, or League of the Righteous.
Another car bomb struck a security checkpoint in al-Tarmiya, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of Baghdad, killing four security officers and injuring 20 more people.
And Mandali, a city about 85 miles east of Baghdad and 55 miles from Baquoba, was the site of a fatal car bombing as well.
A blast there, in an outdoor market, killed at least five people and wounded 18 more, police and health officials said.
It was not immediately clear if those attacks were coordinated or had anything to do with those in Baghdad.
The Iraqi capital has seen plenty of sectarian violence in recent years that has nothing to do with ISIS – Shiite and Sunni Muslim groups have repeatedly targeted each another in violent attacks. While it has taken over vast swaths of Iraqi and neighboring Syria, ISIS has not been as active inside Baghdad – though Tuesday’s attacks, as well as others, may indicate that this is changing.
One of the most gruesome such attacks happened late last week on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, a joyous Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
That’s when a suicide bomber in an ice truck lured more than 100 people, who’d come seeking relief from the scorching summer heat, to their deaths in Khan Bani Saad about 25 miles north of Baghdad. ISIS claimed responsibility for that carnage on Twitter.