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Death Toll In Baghdad Suicide Bombing Rises To Nearly 300

Iraq's interior minister resigned after the attack — believed to be the deadliest bombing in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003.

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Updated on

Ghaban told Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi he was resigning Tuesday following an outpouring of anger directed at the government over the bombing.

Two car bombs went off, one in the central commercial district of Karrada, the other around the same time in an area north of the city, according to the BBC. Both areas are predominantly Shiite.

Karrada was having one of its busiest nights of the year at the time of the bombing, with shoppers stocking up on food for the monthlong celebration of Ramadan. Others had gathered together to watch the Euro Cup.

On Sunday morning, families gathered around the site as firefighters and volunteers searched the wreckage for survivors and bodies. Many of those caught up in the bombing were children, the Associated Press reported.

Prime Minister Abadi was also heckled and harassed by angry crowds as he visited the scene of the blast Sunday.

رئيس مجلس الوزراء الدكتور حيدر العبادي خلال تفقده موقع التفجير الارهابي في منطقة الكرادة.

https://twitter.com/IraqiPMO/status/749492316214353920

One protester hacked an official Iraqi government website Sunday, causing the address to link to a Blogspot page that accused the government of using fake bomb detectors. The official government website stayed down for several hours.

The hacker changed the homepage of the government website to an image of a bloody child and a drawing of a fake bomb detector with the ISIS symbol on it.

Concerns have been raised for years about fake, non-functional, hand-held bomb detectors being sold to and used by Iraq's government at security checkpoints.

Many online echoed the hacker's opinion, saying the deadly bombing could have been prevented.

Sad reality about the #Baghdad bombing today is that Iraqi security forces are still using fake bomb detectors.

Shortly after the hack, the prime minister's office issued a press release saying that Iraqi security agencies would "withdraw manually held devices at checkpoints" and reopen a previous investigation into whether or not many bomb detectors are in fact functional.

القائد العام للقوات المسلحة الدكتور حيدر العبادي يصدر مجموعة اوامر من اجل تعزيز الامن في بغداد والمحافظات.

A week before the tragedy, Iraqi security forces recaptured the city of Fallujah from ISIS control, thought to be a launch pad for attacks on the Iraqi capital.

The U.N. envoy for Iraq, Jan Kubis, told the Associated Press that he believes the bombing was an attempt by ISIS to "avenge their losses by targeting vulnerable civilians."

Kubis called the attack "a cowardly and heinous act of unparalleled proportions."

ISIS still controls Iraq's second-biggest city, Mosul, as well as large and well resourced areas in northern and western regions of the country.

The attacks come a year after the 2015 Ramadan attacks, in which attacks against civilians in France, Kuwait, Syria, Somalia, Tunisia, and Syria were launched by ISIS militants within a day of each other, killing around 223 civilians.

The White House released a statement from National Security Council Spokesperson Ned Price Sunday saying that the U.S. "remains united with the Iraqi people" in the mission to "destroy" ISIS.

.@WhiteHouse: Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on the Terrorist Attacks in Baghdad, Iraq

Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Ema O'Connor at ema.oconnor@buzzfeed.com.

Alicia Melville-Smith is a homepage editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alicia Melville-Smith at alicia.melville-smith@buzzfeed.com.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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