Baghdad bombs targeting Shiites leave 26 dead
BAGHDAD: The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide blast and a roadside bombing that targeted Shiites in Baghdad yesterday, killing a total of 26 people and wounding dozens. The attacks came as Iraqi Kurdish militias, backed by US airstrikes, seized the town of Sinjar from the Islamic State group in a major blow to the extremists. Following its blitz last year, the IS - which splintered off from Iraq’s Al-Qaeda branch - now holds about a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in its self-declared caliphate.
The suicide bomber struck a memorial service held for a Shiite militia fighter killed in battle against IS in the Iraqi capital’s southwestern suburb of Hay Al-Amal, a police official told AP. That explosion killed 21 people and wounded at least 46, he said. The militia fighter was killed in battle against the militant group in Iraq’s western Anbar province, the official added. Also yesterday in Baghdad, a roadside bomb detonated at a Shiite shrine in Sadr City, killing at least five people and wounding 15, police officials said. Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to reporters. Since the emergence of IS extremists, Baghdad has seen near-daily attacks, with roadside bombs, suicide blasts and assassinations targeting Iraqi forces and government officials, with significant casualties among the civilian population. The violence has killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands of Iraqis. — AP
BAGHDAD: An Iraqi man stands in front of a door covered with shrapnel and bloodstains after a suicide bomber reportedly blew himself up in the midst of a Shiite funeral ceremony yesterday.