Iraqi Interior Minister Mohammed Ghabban on Tuesday announced that he had submitted his resignation to the prime minister following a bombing in Baghdad that killed more than 200 people.
“I placed my resignation before the prime minister,” Ghabban told a news conference.
He said the car bomb that ripped through a crowded shopping area in Baghdad early on Sunday came from Diyala province north of the capital, and likely successfully navigated a security checkpoint on the way in.
Ghabban also said that checkpoints littered throughout the capital, a pillar of government efforts to secure the city, are absolutely useless”.
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The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack — one of the deadliest ever in Iraq — and said an Iraqi suicide bomber carried it out.
The attack has sparked widespread anger among Iraqis, who accuse the government of not doing enough to protect them.
Apparently seeking to shore up its image, Baghdad on Monday announced the execution of five convicts and the arrest of 40 jihadists, while Ghabban’s resignation announcement also seems aimed at assuaging angry Iraqis.
IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but has since lost significant ground to Iraqi forces, most recently in Fallujah, a city west of Baghdad that was retaken at the end of last month.