30 killed as woman det­o­nates bomb

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

HILLA: A woman det­o­nated her ex­plo­sive belt in a mar­ket east of the Shi­a­holy city of Ker­bala yes­ter­day, killing at least 30 peo­ple and wound­ing 35, Iraqi se­cu­rity sources said.

Is­lamic State (IS) claimed the at­tack in the town, which is south of Baghdad, in a state­ment on its Amaq news agency. It didn’t iden­tify the bomber.

A se­cu­rity of­fi­cer said the as­sailant was a woman who hid the bomb un­der the cus­tom­ary full-body veil.

The at­tack comes as IS is about to lose Mo­sul, the de-facto cap­i­tal of the hard­line Sunni Mus­lim group in Iraq, to a US-backed Iraqi of­fen­sive launched in Oc­to­ber.

The group is also on the back­foot in neigh­bour­ing Syria, re­treat­ing in the face of a US-backed Kur­dish-led coali­tion at­tack­ing its cap­i­tal there, Raqqa.

Ira­nian- backed paramil­i­taries are tak­ing part in the cam­paign fight­ing IS in Iraq, at­tack­ing the group in the bor­der re­gion near Syria.

IS de­clared a self- styled “caliphate” over parts of Syria and Iraq three years ago. – Reuters

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