ERBIL, Iraq — A car bomb exploded in a crowded Shiite Muslim neighborhood in Baghdad late Thursday afternoon, the latest terror attack in the capital claimed by the Islamic State, security officials reported. At least 51 people were killed and at least 58 more wounded in the bombing, the deadliest in Baghdad in at least a month.
The bombing came as Iraqi security forces, backed by American military advisers and special operations forces, prepared to assault an Islamic State stronghold in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, about 225 miles north of Baghdad.
The country has been consumed by news from Mosul, where Iraqi forces have been mounting the largest military operation since the United States invasion in 2003, driving Islamic State fighters from eastern Mosul over the last month.
Security officials said the bomb in Baghdad went off in a parked pickup truck. Ambulances responding to the scene were quickly filled to capacity, so the police and civilians helped transport victims to hospitals, according to Abu Jafar, a police commissioner.