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'ISIS claims responsibility' for suicide bomb blast which killed at least 70 people

The explosion seemingly targeted Iranian pilgrims who were returning from a pilgrimage.

Shiite pilgrims make their way to Karbala for Arbaeen on Wednesday.
Shiite pilgrims make their way to Karbala for Arbaeen on Wednesday.
Image: Nabil al-Jurani/PA

A SUICIDE TRUCK bomb blast in Iraq killed at least 70 people this afternoon, most of them Iranian pilgrims returning from the holy Shiite city of Karbala, a security official said.

“There are at least 70 dead, fewer than 10 are Iraqis, the rest are Iranians,” Falah al-Radhi, head of the security committee for the Babylon provincial council, told AFP.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement quoted by the SITE Intelligence Group, the jihadist organisation said a bomber “blew up his vehicle amidst their assembly, inflicting among them more than 200 killed and wounded, including Iranians.”

Hospital and police officials said the bomb exploded at a gas station near the city of Hilla. They say the gas station was almost completely destroyed and that scores of cars were burned.

The officials say the target of the attack appears to have been a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims heading home after taking part in a major Shiite holiday in the holy city of Karbala.

More to follow…

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