Cleanup crews on Friday tend to the aftermath of one of the explosions at a market in central Baghdad.
The two suicide bombers who carried out the attacks that killed 91 people in crowded Baghdad animal markets were mentally challenged women with Down’s syndrome, according to Iraqi military officials. The women reportedly had been strapped with explosives that were activated via remote control.
Al-Qaeda has increasingly used women as suicide bombers in recent weeks but this would be the first known case of its triggering their explosives through remote control. “We found the mobiles used to detonate the women,” Major-General Qassim Moussawi, an Iraqi military spokesman, said. He said that both women had Down’s syndrome.
The first woman was blown up in the bird section of the popular al-Ghazl pet market in central Baghdad soon after 10am, killing at least 50 people, injuring scores more and leaving the ground covered in body parts, blood and the scorched carcasses of birds.
A mobile phone rang incessantly amid the shoes, prayer beads, identity cards and other debris. Sunni fundamentalists consider the selling of pets to be haram—forbidden on religious grounds.