3 explosions target liquor stores in Baghdad

Three separate simultaneous bombs targeted liquor stores west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, causing material damages, the Iraqi security media cell said.

The Iraqi Defence Ministry’s Media Cell said in a statement that an unknown group calling itself Ahl Al-Ma’rouf targeted the stores on Monday night using improvised explosive devices or IEDs.

According to the statement, a fourth bomb attached to a civilian car has exploded in a neighbourhood in western Baghdad, causing material damage.

Local media circulated a statement issued by the group calling on the security forces deployed in the vicinity of liquor stores and nightclubs to withdraw from the areas ahead of the areas being targeted.

Iraqi observers believe the unknown group is linked to Iran-backed Shia armed groups.

There was a proposal to ban alcohol in Iraq in 2016. It was dropped less than a year later, but a 200 per cent tax on alcohol was introduced in the 2018 budget.

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