BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court has sentenced to death a Daesh member convicted of plotting a 2021 bomb attack that killed 32 people in a crowded Baghdad market.
It was the city’s first major suicide bombing in three years that ended a period of relative calm after Iraq declared the defeat of the jihadist group in late 2017.
The man, who was not named, was found guilty of planning the January 2021 twin suicide bombing that hit the market at Baghdad’s Tayaran Square and also wounded 110 people.
A Baghdad court has sentenced the attack’s “primary perpetrator,” the Supreme Judicial Council said in a statement. He had confessed to being part of Daesh since 2012 and to having equipped the two suicide attackers.
In the attack, one man drew a crowd by claiming to feel sick before he detonated his explosives belt, the Interior Ministry said at the time.
As more people flocked to the scene to help the victims, the second suicide bomber set off his explosives.
Iraq frequently hands down death sentences, usually for terrorism or murder convictions.
London-based rights group Amnesty International recorded at least 17 executions in Iraq in 2021, down from 50 the previous year, but said death sentences “rose more than threefold from 2020.”
In April, eight people were sentenced to death in two trials, four over a car bombing and four for murder.
The last major Daesh attack in the capital came in July 2021, when a bomb ripped through a crowded market in the Sadr City suburb, killing more than 30 people.
Daesh has “maintained the ability to launch attacks at a steady rate in Iraq, including hit-and-run operations, ambushes and roadside bombs,” a UN report said in January.
Three teenagers and three policemen were shot dead in northern Iraq as they put out a crop fire last week, an attack that officials blamed on Daesh.