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Iraq: Tayaran Square Explosions - Final Report (MDRIQ011)

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The major donors and partners of the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) include the Red Cross Societies and governments of Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, German, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as DG ECHO and Blizzard Entertainment, Mondelez International Foundation, and Fortive Corporation and other corporate and private donors.

The IFRC, on behalf of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, would like to extend thanks to all for their generous contributions.


Description of the disaster

Suicide bombings have become relatively rare in the capital of Iraq after years of deadly sectarian violence. On Thursday 21 January 2021, two suicide bombers detonated their explosives on a bustling commercial street in the heart of Baghdad Al Tayaran Square, Bab al-Shaqi neighborhood. The first suicide bomber stormed into the market, claiming to be ill, so that people would gather around him, and then detonated his explosives. After the first explosion, people began tending to the victims and injured. According to the ministry's statement, a second attacker then struck and detonated his device. At least 32 people have been killed and 110 injured as a result of these attacks. The Directorate of Terror’s Victims and the Directorate of Health in Baghdad confirmed the deaths and injuries. The Iraqi government’s emergency personnel arrived on the scene to assist the victims. The injured were transferred to Al-Kindi Hospital, Sheikh Zayed Hospital, and the Neurological Wholesale Hospital.

More than a hundred people were affected indirectly as a result of the disruption in their livelihood. These were daily workers, shoppers, and traders. This was Baghdad’s biggest suicide attack in the last three years.

Summary of current respons

Overview of Host National Society

The IRCS went into action immediately after the explosions to provide life-saving care and deployed its Emergency Medical Teams. IRCS set up triage and first aid stations to ensure that people with non-critical injuries can be treated and comforted, while the Ministry of Health and Civil Defence ambulances transported the most severely injured survivors to hospitals. The IRCS has deployed Emergency Medical Teams and a fleet of seven ambulances to the site of the explosion, where nine staff and seven trained volunteers were engaged in response activities, to provide any potential support to the Ministry of Health in transferring the injured and providing first aid at triage stations. The government authorities immediately transported the affected people to hospitals and the First Aid support was provided at the Al-Kindi Hospital, the Sheikh Zayed Hospital, and the Neurological Wholesale Hospital. The IRCS National Headquarters mobilized its local branches, staff, and volunteers, to reach out to affected families based on a list provided by relevant government authorities in various governorates. The Directorate of Terror’s Victims and the Directorate of Health in Baghdad were established, and information on affected people was gathered.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in-country

IRCS has a longstanding working collaboration with the IFRC and other Movement partners in implementing various programmes. The IRCS National Headquarters was collaborating with the IFRC delegation in Baghdad and provided weekly updates on the DREF operation. DREF operation has been launched after coordination and consultation with Movement partners in the country. The ICRC, German, Norwegian, Danish, Turkish, Qatar, and Swedish Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies are among the Movement partners in Iraq. Following the explosions, the IFRC delegation in Iraq collaborated with the IRCS leadership and technical departments as well as the IFRC MENA regional delegation, to share information about operation activities, and to provide technical support to the National Society in developing the DREF operation. The ICRC supported the IRCS as its primary partner in its development and operations, with a focus on the “Safer Access” approach which promotes safer access to people affected by conflict and other situations of violence, whilst minimizing risks for staff and volunteers.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in-country

Local authorities dispatched police, army, and rescue teams to the scene. The Ministry of Health and Civil Defense supported with evacuation and transport to hospitals. According to the IRCS team’s initial observations and assessment, no such support has been extended by any government authority to the victims’ families.