Twelve-year-old Australian girl killed in Baghdad ice-cream shop blast

Twelve-year-old Australian girl killed in Baghdad ice-cream shop blast
3 min read
Zynab al-Harbiya from Melbourne was visiting her sick grandfather in Baghdad when she was killed after a car bomb exploded outside a popular ice-cream shop.
Zynab Al-Harbiya: Iraqi-Australian victim of IS attack on Karrada ice cream van [Twitter]

A 12-year-old Iraqi-Australian girl was killed in the latest Baghdad blast, the Australian foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Zynab al-Harbiya from Melbourne was visiting her sick grandfather in Baghdad when she was killed after a car bomb exploded outside a popular ice-cream shop early Tuesday local time, foreign minister Julie Bishop said.

"This tragedy underscores the brutality of this terrorist organisation. It shows no respect for religion, nationality, sovereignty, borders, no respect for humanity," Bishop told reporters.

The girl's cousin, Layla al-Saabary, said the family had only been in Baghdad for a few days when the tragedy occurred.

She also said that Zynab had been “scared” of the concept of being attacked by a bomb.

"She wanted to go and buy ice-cream... Her mother gave permission and so they went to the main square and she was going to go buy ice-cream... she went and she never came back," Al-Saabary told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Zynab’s mother and uncle were also injured in the attack.

She had gone with her mother and an uncle to Baghdad while her father stayed in Melbourne. He said the mother's wounds were not life threatening but the girl's uncle was hurt seriously.

The overnight attack in Baghdad’s Karrada district killed nearly 30 and wounded more than 100 people, Iraqi security and medical officials said.

"The suicide bomber was able to detonate his explosives-laden car near Al-Fakma, in the Karrada district central Baghdad after midnight, targeting a crowd of civilians," an official told The New Arab.

The attack came just days into the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast during daylight hours. After sundown, families break their fast and Baghdad’s restaurants and cafes quickly fill up.

The IS group-linked Amaq propaganda agency said the suicide bomber targeted a "gathering of Shias."

The holy Muslim month of Ramadan is often marked by an increase in violence in Iraq.

Last year, a huge truck bombing claimed by IS killed hundreds in a retail district in central Baghdad where people were shopping for clothes ahead of the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. It was the single deadliest event in Baghdad since Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.