Blast kills 8, wounds 16 pilgrims in Iraq
A car bomb goes off near the Iraqi city of Balad, killing at least eight people and injuring 16 others, authorities say.
Police and a local official in Balad in northern Salahuddin Province said on Thursday that the assault occurred overnight next to a crowd of pilgrims commemorating the death of Imam Ali al-Hadi (PBUH).
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the deadly incident took place while the pilgrims were returning from the holy shrine of Imam Ali al-Hadi (PBUH) in Samarra, which lies 110 kilometers north of Baghdad.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing, but it bears the hallmarks of similar assaults by the ISIL Takfiri terrorists, who currently control parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The ISIL terrorists have committed heinous crimes and threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds, during their advances in Iraq.
The attacks have intensified over the past months as the Iraqi government continues to purge the terrorists from major towns and cities across the country.
Similarly, late in March, at least 17 people were killed and dozens more injured in other terrorist bomb attacks.
Iraqi forces, backed by volunteers, have made fresh gains in their operation to retake full control of Tikrit, a major stronghold of ISIL militants in north Iraq.
ISIL started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014. The heavily-armed militants took control of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.