Iraq suicide bomb: Shia pilgrims among nearly 80 dead

Source: BBC

Nearly 80 people, many of them Shia pilgrims, have been killed in a truck bomb attack at a road stop in Iraq, a security official says.

The blast struck at a petrol station and restaurant near Hilla, some 100km (60 miles) south of Baghdad.

The road stop was full of people returning from commemorating Arbaeen in the holy city of Karbala. Many of the dead were reportedly Iranians.

The jihadist group Islamic State said it carried out the attack.

It claimed that as many as 200 people had been killed and wounded in the blast, in a statement delivered by its news agency Amaq.

Targeting Shia

Buses carrying Iranian Shia pilgrims appear to have been targeted in the attack, which struck near the village of Shomali.

Some reports say the suicide vehicle was parked, and the force of the blast completely destroyed the petrol station and scorched many cars.

Provincial security chief Falah al-Radi told the BBC that Iranians were among nearly 80 people who had been killed and more than 20 wounded in the attack. The toll was expected to rise, he said.

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