Norway condemns terrorist attacks in Iraq

'We were horrified and deeply saddened to receive the news of Wednesday's terrorist attacks in Baghdad. I would like to convey my deepest condolences to the Iraqi people, who are so often the target of terrorist attacks. The attacks are a clear demonstration of ISIL's contempt for human life and norms of human decency,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

'We were horrified and deeply saddened to receive the news of Wednesday's terrorist attacks in Baghdad. I would like to convey my deepest condolences to the Iraqi people, who are so often the target of terrorist attacks. The attacks are a clear demonstration of ISIL's contempt for human life and norms of human decency,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Yesterday morning, reports emerged of an attack on a market in the Shia-dominated Sadr City district of Baghdad. 64 people are reported to have been killed and 87 injured in this attack alone, among them many women and children. A further two attacks took place in other parts of Baghdad later in the day. In total, at least 94 people are reported to have been killed in yesterday's three attacks at separate locations in Baghdad, and at least 150 people have been injured. These are the deadliest attacks on the Iraqi capital so far this year, and it is feared that the death toll will continue to rise. ISIL has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

'Sadly we often hear reports from Iraq about terrorist attacks claiming many lives, but the scale of yesterday's attacks was particularly horrifying. ISIL must be fought both in Syria and Iraq,' Mr Brende said.

The security situation in Baghdad is volatile and there have been several terrorist attacks in Baghdad this year. Moreover, parts of Iraq are under ISIL's control. Norway is participating actively in the international coalition to counter ISIL, and is helping to train Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga in Northern Iraq. Furthermore, the Government has recently decided to step up Norway's efforts by increasing the Norwegian contribution to the international coalition against ISIL, both by providing a new military contribution and by strengthening civilian efforts.