Story highlights

Interior Minister Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban cites security failures as reason

Analyst: Push to retake Mosul could be delayed while government shores up security

(CNN) —  

Iraq’s interior minister resigned Tuesday in the wake of a devastating ISIS truck bomb that ripped through a busy commercial district in central Baghdad, the worst attack to strike the Iraqi capital in years.

Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban submitted his resignation at a press conference Tuesday in Baghdad, citing a lack of “coordination among security systems” as the reason for his departure.

Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban resigned in fallout from the blast.
PHOTO: SABAH ARAR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images/File
Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban resigned in fallout from the blast.

His resignation was predictable fallout from the immense blast early Sunday in the capital’s Karrada neighborhood, where about 250 people were killed and at least 200 injured.

As grieving families buried victims Tuesday, Iraq’s government scrambled to mollify public anger over what was seen as a critical failure of the country’s security services.

In an embarrassing admission, the government has had to order security personnel to stop using bogus bomb detectors that, for years, have been widely known to be useless.

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Retired Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a CNN military analyst, said Tuesday that the fallout to the massive security lapse could also see the delay of the government’s long-awaited push to retake the ISIS stronghold of Mosul.

“(Iraq’s government has) to reassess what they’re doing,” he said.

“The residents of Baghdad are more concerned about their own security rather than this eventual inevitable fall of Mosul. The Iraqi government will eventually go back and retake Mosul, but they have to secure Baghdad first.”

The Sunni terror group, which has carved out a self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, has been losing territory, most recently in the Iraqi city of Falluja.

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PHOTO: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
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The government has assured people that ridding Falluja – about 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad – and the rest of Anbar province of the terror group would deliver improved security to the capital, but it hasn’t been the case.