10/28/2014, 00.00
IRAQ
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Baghdad, at least 38 dead and dozens wounded in a double bomb attack

A suicide bomber blew himself up near a government checkpoint in Jurf al-Sakhar, 50 km south of the capital. Islamic State terrorists behind the attack on: casualties among government forces and Shiite militias. The second attack took place in the district of Karrada in central Baghdad.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 38 people were killed and dozens injured in the two bombings yesterday in the Iraqi capital and in a suburb near Baghdad. In the first attack, a suicide bomber drove a Humvee packed with explosives crashed into a checkpoint south of Baghdad, killing over 24 people (mostly members of the Shiite militias). At least 25 people were injured. The second took place in the capital, when a car bomb detonated and killed at least 10 people.

In recent months, there have been hundreds of victims in attacks and bombings throughout Iraq.

The check point where the first explosion took place is located near the Sunni town of Jurf al-Sakhar, about 50 miles south of Baghdad. Members of the Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen died in the attack. Local sources said that the  vehicle used for the attack was robbed from the regular army.

The authors of the attack are believed to have been jihadists of the Islamic state (IS), in revenge for the government forces having driven them from the town after months.

The authors of the second attack are still unknown.  It took place late last night in the Karrada district (downtown Baghdad), a busy area of ​​shops and restaurants. Dozens of people were injured, some of them in a serious way.

Jurf al-Sakhar, scene of the first attack, had been conquered by jihad during the summer, when the terrorist group had reached the point of maximum territorial extension, occupying large parts of Syria and northern Iraq. The town is strategically important, being a sort of buffer zone between the Anbar province dominated by Sunni Arabs and the area to the south of the country, of a large Shiite majority.

It is also crossed by a major communication route used by pilgrims to reach the Shiite holy city of Karbala in the south. Next week the faithful will travel to celebrate the death of the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussein, one of the most important figures in Shiite Islam.

 

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