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Iraq bomb death toll rises to 165

July 4, 2016 5:18 pm

The number of people killed in Sunday’s suicide bomb attack in the Iraqi capital Baghdad has risen to 165, interior ministry officials have said.

The government has declared three days of mourning after the huge blast, which injured 225 others.

A lorry packed with explosives was detonated in the Karrada district while families were shopping for the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

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It is believed to be the deadliest single bomb attack in Iraq since 2007.

Rescuers said whole families had been killed. Many people were badly burned.

The mainly Shia area was busy with shoppers late at night because it is the holy month of Ramadan.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was met by angry crowds while visiting the scene of the blast on Sunday.

His office said Mr Abadi understood the reaction of residents and would increase security by banning “magic wand” fake bomb detectors and improving vehicle inspections at roads into the city.

The fake bomb detectors, some based on cheap devices for finding golf balls, were sold in large numbers to Iraq by several different fraudsters.

One British businessman, who was jailed for 10 years, sold more than 6000 devices to Iraq for up to $US40,000 each.

The UK banned their export to Iraq in 2010 and several other fraudsters received prison sentences. Despite warnings that the devices were useless, the Iraqi security forces continued to use them.

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