‘World stands with Iraq in outrage’
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last night moved to assure Iraq that the international community is by its side following the suicide attack on a football stadium. During an official visit to Iraq, Ban offered condolences to the families and friends of the 41 people killed when a suicide bomber struck in Iskanderiyah, 50km from the capital Baghdad. Ban said: “The international community stands with Iraqis in horror and outrage.” But the UN chief added that the battle against ISIS - which claimed the latest attack in Iraq - must comply with international law.
Ban noted continued reports of arbitrary arrests and killings in ISIS-liberated areas. Friday’s bombing took place during a match in a small stadium in Iskanderiyah. The new president of the world football federation FIFA, Gianni Infantino, also offered his condolences. “Around the world, football unites people,” he said in a statement. “It is a very sad day, when people, going to a match together, become the victims of such violence.” ISIS has lost ground in recent months in Iraq and Syria, but has struck back in a series of large attacks targeting civilians. In Syria yesterday, government forces seized three neighbourhoods inside Palmyra that had fallen into the hands of the extremist group.