ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi security announced an attack on a liquor store in central Baghdad on Tuesday.
According to a statement released by Baghdad Operations Command, unknown assailants caused considerable damage to the shop, currently closed during the holy month of Ramadan, as reported by the SNG news website.
Major General Saad Maan, a spokesman, said, "a liquor store was targeted in the yard of Uqba bin Nafi [military base] in Baghdad, without casualties," adding, "Security forces are investigating the incident."
In recent years, there have been several attacks on shops selling alcohol across Iraq, often blamed on jihadi groups like the Islamic State or Iran-backed Shia militias.
There have also been periodic government crackdowns on liquor shops in Baghdad and elsewhere, where they are ordered closed during Ramadan and for over an additional month for the Shia observance of Muharram. In 2016, Iraq's parliament passed a surprise law that made criminal the import, production, or selling of alcoholic beverages, but it was not implemented.
In December, local authorities in the capital of Iraq's Anbar Province announced they were no longer granting licenses for liquor shops in the city, claiming that they aimed to maintain "public morals" and prevent societal collapse.
The city council of Ramadi said it had decided "not to grant any licenses for opening a shop [selling] alcoholic beverages and the competent authorities must implement the decision."
The move came, according to a statement, "for the purpose of preserving public morals and decency," further asserting that the council also sought to "avoid the daily clashes that drain an individual's energy, effort, thinking, and money."