On the evening of 16 September, between 4-7 IED detonations were reported in diverse areas of Baghdad. This notably included one detonation in the Bab al-Sheikh area of Sheikh Umar sub-district, located in central Baghdad. Named security officials and other government outlets failed to comment on these incidents, with the bulk of reporting emanating from unnamed security sources. The most credible report emanated from an unnamed source associated with the Joint Operations Command, citing that four IED detonations were reported in southwest, central and northeast Baghdad. Most sources suggested that between 10-12 individuals were wounded as a result. IS claimed responsibility for these attacks, killing or wounding 24 Shi’a civilians.
Similar reporting challenges were associated with a previously reported series of IED detonations in Baghdad on 7 September. Notably, several areas affected on 7 September also witnessed IED detonations in this latest instance. This development underlines the failure of security forces to disrupt IS IED cells in the aftermath of the 7 September attacks, as well as the ability of IS to refit relevant cells within a short period. However, the moderate number of casualties during the 16 September attacks illustrate persistent IS shortfalls in Baghdad and the possibility that many of the devices comprised a limited amount of explosives. Nevertheless, such activity is indicative of an elevated IS attack intent during the holy month of Muharram, with IS possibly exploiting lax security measures following the conclusion of Ashura.