Militant group claims Baghdad bombings
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for two bombings on Shiite pilgrims that left 23 people dead in Baghdad a day earlier, as violence continued on Monday.
In a statement posted online late Sunday, the group said the car bomb attacks happened despite the tight security measures amid the Shiites’ “biggest infidel event.”
The two attacks, on Sunday, targeted Shiite pilgrims and the roadside tents serving them on their way to the holy city of Karbala to mark the Ashoura religious holiday.
Ashoura commemorates the seventh-century death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, and an iconic martyr among Shiite Muslims. Sunni insurgents frequently target Shiites, who they consider heretics.
On Monday, police said a bomb struck a group of Shiite pilgrims, killing five people and wounding 11 others in Baghdad’s southwestern suburb of Nahrawan.
Also, a bomb blast on a commercial street killed three people and wounded 11 others in Baghdad’s western district of Amil, said police. In the western suburbs of Baghdad, a roadside bomb blast struck an army patrol, killing two soldiers.
Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures from both attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Iraq is facing its greatest challenge since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops, as militants from the Islamic State group now control vast swaths of the country.