Daesh bombings claim 39 civilian lives in central Iraq
More than three dozen people have been killed when separate bomb attacks struck commercial districts in Iraq’s central provinces of Babil and Karbala as Iraqi government forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units, are battling to expel Daesh terrorists out of their last urban bastion in the country.
Security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a woman detonated her explosives-laden belt at the entrance to a crowded market in the mainly Shia populated town of Musayyib, located 60 kilometers (40 miles) south of the capital Baghdad, on Thursday.
The sources added that at least 30 people lost their lives in the attack, while 35 others sustained injuries. The injured were transported to nearby hospitals to receive medical treatment, while the bodies of the victims were shifted to the forensic medicine department.
The Takfiri Daesh terror group, which has been leading a campaign of death and destruction in Iraq over the past few years, claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The development came only a few hours after nine people were killed and 16 others wounded in a bomb explosion at the entrance to a garage in the center of the holy shrine city of Karbala.
An unnamed official at Karbala health department said most of the victims were pilgrims, who had travelled to the city to pay homage to Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and his brother Abolfazl al-Abbas (PBUH).
Daesh later claimed the act of violence in a statement published on its Amaq news agency.
According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), a total of 354 Iraqi civilians were killed and 470 others injured as a result of acts of terrorism and violence in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
The UN mission, however, did not mention the number of Iraqi police forces, who were killed or sustained injuries in the unrest.
A large number of the fatalities were recorded in the troubled northern province of Nineveh, where 160 civilians were killed and 52 others wounded.
The capital province of Baghdad saw 86 people killed and another 226 injured.
Elsewhere, a total of 13 people died and 41 others were wounded in Iraq’s southern oil-rich province of Basra.
Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, have made sweeping gains against the Takfiri elements since launching the Mosul operation on October 17, 2016.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.