- Title: Baghdad blast claimed by IS kills 24
- Date: 2nd January 2017
- Summary: SADR CITY, BAGHDAD, IRAQ (JANUARY 2, 2017) (REUTERS) LOCALS GATHERED AT THE SITE OF BLAST PEOPLE STANDING NEAR STALLAS, SOLDIER WALKING STALL WITH DAMAGED FURNITURE AND BLOOD STAINS DAMAGED STALL
- Embargoed: 17th January 2017 11:42
- Keywords: Iraq Baghdad Islamic State Sadr City
- Location: SADR CITY, BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- City: SADR CITY, BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XDZZNR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: At least 24 people were killed and 67 wounded by Islamic State car bomb in a busy square in Baghdad's sprawling Sadr City district on Monday (January 2).
The death toll may rise as the blast hit a place where day labourers typically gather.
Nine of the victims were women in a passing minibus. Their charred bodies were inside the burnt-out remains of the vehicle. Blood stained the ground nearby.
An online statement distributed by Amaq news agency, which supports Islamic State, said the ultra-hardline Sunni group had targeted a gathering of Shi'ite Muslims, whom it considers apostates.
Islamic State regularly targets civilian areas in the heavily fortified capital, even after losing most of the northern and western territory it seized in 2014.
Three bombs killed 29 people across the capital on Saturday (December 31), and an attack near the southern city of Najaf on Sunday (January 1) left seven policemen dead.
The blast came at a time Iraqi troops are waging pitched battles to regain the northern city of Mosul.
U.S.-backed Iraqi forces are currently fighting to push Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim militant group, from the northern city of Mosul, the fighters' last major stronghold in the country, but are facing fierce resistance.
The recapture of Mosul would probably spell the end for Islamic State's self-styled caliphate, but the militants would still be capable of fighting a guerrilla-style insurgency in Iraq, and plotting or inspiring attacks on the West.
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