May 29, 2015 / 1:59 PM / 3 years ago

Islamic State claims responsibility for Baghdad hotel bombs

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State claimed responsibility on Friday for bombings outside two heavily fortified five-star hotels in the Iraqi capital that killed 10 people.

Smoke rises from the site of car bomb attack in Baghdad, May 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

In a statement, Islamic State said a suicide bomber called Abu Qutaiba had parked a car outside the Ishtar hotel in central Baghdad late on Thursday before driving another vehicle laden with 230 kg of explosives to the nearby Babylon hotel.

The bomber detonated himself and the vehicle he was driving there around the same time the first car bomb exploded, “killing and wounding dozens of infidels”, according to the statement.

Iraqi authorities lifted a decade-old night-time curfew on Baghdad early this year, seeking to restore a sense of normality to the capital as security forces battle Islamic State insurgents who have overrun large parts of the country.

But the rate of bombings in Baghdad has increased since then.

Militants seized Ramadi, the Anbar provincial capital west of Baghdad, on May 17 in the most significant military setback to the government since a U.S.-led coalition launched a campaign of air strikes against Islamic State last August.

Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Saif Hameed; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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