[Photos] Iraq welcomes 2017 with fireworks display at Baghdad tower

 BAGHDAD — Iraqis briefly took their minds off the violence and conflict with the Islamic State (ISIS) to welcome in the New Year with a colorful and loud fireworks display in the early hours of Sunday (January 1).

Celebrations and a fireworks display centered around Baghdad Tower, damaged in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion when it was known as "Saddam Tower". It was renovated in the past few years.

Hundreds of locals gathered in the streets around the tower in the capital's Mansour district as fireworks and lights lit up the area.

The celebration was a rare moment for Iraqis to cheer with conflict gripping the country.

On Saturday (December 31), three bombs killed 29 people at a market in Baghdad, with ISIS claiming responsibility for the attack, saying it was targeting Shia Muslims, who the militants view as apostates.

Photos: Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani