- Title: Suicide truck bomb kills about 100 in Iraq, mostly Iranian pilgrims
- Date: 24th November 2016
- Summary: SOUTH HILLA, BABIL PROVINCE, IRAQ (NOVEMBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) CHARRED WRECKAGE OF CARS SCATTERED ON THE GROUND / PEOPLE AND SECURITY FORCES LOOKING ON TWO MEN INSPECTING DAMAGED VEHICLE / EXCAVATOR LIFTING WRECKAGE OF VEHICLES IN BACKGROUND PEOPLE GATHERING NEAR CHARRED WRECKAGE OF CARS FIREMEN AND PEOPLE SEARCHING FOR VICTIMS TRAPPED INSIDE TWISTED WRECKAGE OF CARS PEOPLE AND SECURITY MEMBERS STANDING AMIDST CHARRED WRECKAGE OF CARS DESTROYED BUILDING AT BLAST SCENE COVERED BODIES ON THE GROUND A BODY COVERED IN BLANKET ON GROUND SECURITY FORCES AT SCENE FIREMAN AND A MAN PLACING STRETCHER WITH BODY ON THE GROUND PERSON WALKING NEXT TO SMOULDERING WRECKAGE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF SECURITY COMMITTEE OF BABIL CITY COUNCIL, FALAH AL-KHAFAJI, SAYING: "A criminal attack took place at al-Shomali area on the highway. A suicide truck went up inside the fuel station, killing at least 80 or 70 people, mostly pilgrims of Imam Hussein who were on their way back home." CHARRED WRECKAGE OF CAR AT BLAST SCENE
- Embargoed: 9th December 2016 18:11
- Keywords: Hilla Iraq suicide bomb blast Islamic State pilgrims Iran
- Location: SOUTH HILLA, BABIL PROVIONCE, IRAQ / INTERNET
- City: SOUTH HILLA, BABIL PROVIONCE, IRAQ / INTERNET
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00159T1C1Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC MATERIAL
A suicide truck bomb killed about 100 people, most of them Iranian Shi'ite pilgrims, at a petrol station in the city of Hilla 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad on Thursday (November 24), police and medical sources said.
Islamic State (IS), the ultra hardline Sunni militant group that considers all Shi'ites to be apostates, claimed responsibility the attack in an online statement released by the IS-affiliated Amaq news agency.
The group is also fighting off a U.S.-backed offensive on its stronghold Mosul, in northern Iraq, in which Iranian-trained Shi'ite militias are taking part.
The pilgrims were en route back to Iran from the Iraqi Shi'ite holy city of Kerbala, where they had commemorated Arbaeen, the 40th day of mourning for the killing of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, in the 7th century AD, the medical sources said.
The gas station has a restaurant in its premises that is popular with travellers. Five pilgrim buses were torched by the force of the blast from the explosives-laden truck, a police official said.
Islamic State has intensified attacks over the past month in areas out of its control in efforts to weaken the offensive launched on Oct. 17 to retake Mosul, the last major city under IS control in Iraq.
Iran's Foreign Ministry condemned the attack without giving a casualties toll. Tehran will continue to support Iraq's ''relentless fight against terrorism," ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.
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