Babel – (IraqiNews.com) The self-proclaimed Islamic State said Thursday its militants were responsible for a booby-trapped car blast that killed at least 70 people, mostly Iranians, in Hilla, babel.
Fallah al-Radi, a member of the security committee in Babel, told Sky News Arabia that the number of casualties jumped from an initial 15 to at least 70, out of whom were 60 Iranians. He stated that the blast was carried out with a booby-trapped car parked inside an oil station in Hilla.
The station is next to a rest house where the Iranian pilgrims were staying on their way back from Shia religious feasts at the holy city of Karbala.
ISIS, through Amaq news agency, said it was responsible for the bombing.
Iraq had seen a surge in violent attacks since Islamic State militants occupied vast areas of Iraq.
The group is currently struggling to defend Mosul, its last strategic foothold in Iraq, against continuous, successful advancements by Iraqi security forces and popular militias. With attacks occurring at several areas other than Mosul, observers and security officials believe the extremist group is trying to divert attention from its defeats in Mosul as well as to distract the focus of the assaulting security troops.