Baghdad: Islamic State group militants killed 30 people at a Shiite shrine north of Baghdad, striking the area with suicide bombers, gunfire and mortar rounds, an Iraqi security spokesman said today. The overnight attack also wounded 50 people, the Joint Operations Command spokesman said in a statement. The Sayyid Mohammed shrine was first targeted with mortar rounds, after which suicide bombers arrived at the shrine and opened fire, the statement said.
Two of the bombers then blew themselves up in a market next to the shrine while the third was killed and his explosive belt defused, it said, without specifying which forces killed the bomber. The attack in the Balad area, located 70 kilometres north of Baghdad, came just five days after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged minibus in the capital, killing 292 people.
That blast was one of the deadliest bombings to hit Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion of the country, which set the stage for 13 years of bloody violence. The Baghdad bombing was claimed by the Islamic State group, which overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but has since lost significant ground to Iraqi forces. In response to the battlefield setbacks, the group has hit back against civilians, and experts have warned there may be more bombings as the jihadists continue to lose ground. (AFP)
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