Two suicide attacks struck Baghdad on Thursday. Combined, the attacked killed 31 people and injured at least 78 others.
The first attack, which was the more deadly of the two, was aimed at a commercial area of Baghdad. Police confirmed that there were at least 19 civilians killed and 46 wounded.
The second attack targeted an Iraqi army checkpoint in a city to the north of the capital. According to the Military Times, the suicide bomber rammed the checkpoint with an car filled with explosives, resulting in the deaths of seven civilians and five solders. Another 28 or so people were injured.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for both of the attacks. They stated that the first attack was aimed at Shiite militia members while the second attack was targeting the Iraqi army. The claims have not yet been verified as authentic, but are believed to be credible from posts on military websites commonly used by the extremists.
Iraqi officials have called these two suicide attacks attempts by the militants to distract the army, which have just pushed into the ISIS-held city of Falujah on Wednesday. Falujah is one of the last major ISIS strongholds in western Iraq and is only 40 miles from Baghdad.
The U.N. special envoy to Iraq, Jan Kubis, calls the suicide attacks “cowardly acts” that are only aimed at “weakening the country’s unity and destroying its social fabric.”