Car bomb attack kills at least 19 in Baghdad

A car bomb attack targeting Shiite pilgrims kills at least 19 in Iraq's capital Baghdad, with DAESH claiming responsibility

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack in a southeastern suburb of Baghdad, Iraq, April 30, 2016.

A suicide bomber driving a car killed at least 19 people and wounded 48 others on Saturday in an attack claimed by DAESH on a group of Shiite Muslim pilgrims in a southeastern suburb of Baghdad, Iraqi police sources have said.

The bomb was left on a road in the Nahrawan area used by Shiite pilgrims who are walking to the shrine of Imam Musa Kadhim in northern Baghdad for annual commemorations.

A second explosion near a Shiite militia checkpoint in the capital's Dora district killed two and wounded three others, police sources said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for that blast.

Kadhim, the seventh of 12 imams revered in Shiite Islam, died in 799 AD. The commemoration has in recent years turned into a huge event that brings the Iraqi capital to a standstill for days.

Last year's pilgrimage was also marred by attacks against worshippers that killed at least 13 people.

And four more were burned or shot to death when mobs torched houses and a Sunni religious endowment building after rumours of a suicide bomber sparked panic among a crowd of pilgrims.

DAESH overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led military assistance have since regained significant ground.

The jihadists still control a large part of western Iraq, and are able to carry out frequent attacks against both civilians and security forces in government-held areas.

TRTWorld and agencies