Saturday 25 March 2017

56 dead after Isil drives suicide truck bomb into Iraqi petrol station

Iraqi security forces gather at the site of a suicide truck bomb attack, at a petrol station in the city of Hilla south of Baghdad, Iraq.
Iraqi security forces gather at the site of a suicide truck bomb attack, at a petrol station in the city of Hilla south of Baghdad, Iraq.

Hadi Mizban in Hilla, Iraq

A car bomb tore through a petrol station south of Baghdad yesterday killing at least 56, including 20 Iranians, in an Isil attack.

Police and hospital officials confirmed the toll and said another 45 people were wounded in the attack, which destroyed the station and set several cars on fire.

Isil claimed the attack in a brief statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it was a suicide truck bomb.

The officials said the target of the attack appears to have been a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims heading home after taking part in a major Shi'ite religious observance in the holy city of Karbala.

The attack came a day after several small-scale bombings in and around Baghdad killed 31 people and wounded more than a 100, a particularly bloody day even by the standards of the Iraqi capital, which has for more than a decade endured near-daily violence blamed on Isil or its forerunner, al-Qa'ida.

In northern Iraq, meanwhile, troops drove Isil militants from three more neighbourhoods in Mosul, the country's second largest city, where US-backed offensive has been under way for more than six weeks.

Brigadier General Haider Fadhil of the special forces told AP his men have retaken the neighbourhoods of Amn, Qahira and Green Apartments and were expanding their foothold in the densely populated district of Zohour.

The neighbourhoods are all east of the Tigris River, where most of the fighting has taken place.

A US-led coalition is carrying out airstrikes to support the troops.

Irish Independent

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