Saturday 3 December 2016

Islamic State claims responsibility for suicide bomb at Iraq football stadium

Published 25/03/2016 | 18:31

The blast occurred during a match at a small stadium in the Iraqi city of Iskanderiyah
The blast occurred during a match at a small stadium in the Iraqi city of Iskanderiyah

A suicide bomber has blown himself up in a football stadium in Iraq, killing 29 people and wounding 60.

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The bombing took place during a match in the small stadium in the city of Iskanderiyah, 30 miles from Baghdad.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack via a statement posted online, SITE intelligence group, a monitoring organisation, reported.

IS has been waging a campaign of suicide bombings in and around the capital as Iraqi forces and their allies battle the militants in the north and west of the country.

The bombing came as Iraqi military spokesman Yahya Rusoul announced that Iraqi troops and Sunni tribal fighters recaptured the town of Kubeisa in western Anbar province from the Islamic State group. A day earlier, IS fighters were pushed out of a string of villages in Iraq's northern Nineveh province under cover of heavy coalition air strikes.

Iraqi ground forces are working to build on recent gains in Anbar and prepare for an eventual push on the northern city of Mosul, the largest city held by the militants in the "caliphate" they declared across parts of Iraq and Syria. The US-led coalition estimates that IS has lost 40% of the territory it once held in Iraq and around 20% of its territory in Syria.

Analysts and coalition officials say they expect that as it loses ground on the battlefield, it will turn to more insurgent style attacks in Iraq and internationally. On Tuesday, bombings in Brussels claimed by IS killed 31 people and injured nearly 300.

Press Association

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