At least 42 killed in bombings across Iraq
At least 42 people have been killed in Iraq in suicide bombings on Saturday.
A suicide bomber killed at least 27 Shiite militiamen outside the Iraqi town of Jurf al-Sakhar on Monday after security forces pushed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants out of the area over the weekend, army and police sources said.
The attacker, driving a Humvee vehicle packed with explosives and likely stolen from defeated government troops, also wounded 60 Shiite Muslim militiamen, who had helped government forces retake the town just south of the capital.
In a seperate attack, at least 15 people have been killed in a car bomb that rocked the central Iraqi capital of Baghdad, police and medical sources said, according to Reuters.
The attack took place on a street with shops and restaurants in the Karrada district, which is home to both Sunni and Shiite Muslims as well as other sects and ethnic groups.
Iraqis are bracing for more sectarian attacks on Shiites, who are preparing for the religious festival of Ashura, an event that defines Shi’ism and its rift with Sunni Islam.
ISIS sees Shiites as infidels who deserve to die and their attacks on them have brought violence back to levels seen in 2006 and 2007 at the height of a civil war.
Holding Jurf al-Sakhar is critical for Iraqi security forces, who finally managed to drive out the Sunni insurgents after months of fighting and need to capitalize on their victory to keep the militants away from Baghdad.