At least 20 people have been killed and 34 wounded after a suicide bomber detonated explosives at a market in the Iraqi town of Musayyib, south of the capital, Baghdad, according to police.

"A suicide bomber blew himself up in Musayyib market, causing 20 civilian martyrs," an interior ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency.

A police officer and a medic at a local hospital said at least 34 people had been wounded in the blast.

The attack took place just hours after a bomb exploded in the holy city of Karbala, just east of Musayyib, wounding several.

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The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) group claimed the attacks in a statement on its Amaq website.

Musayyib, about 60km south of Baghdad, has been hit by several attacks in recent years.

At least 22 people were killed and 50 wounded in 2014 when a mortar struck a busy area of the town.

Less than two weeks ago, two blasts in the space of 12 hours ripped through Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 100 others.

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ISIL claimed responsibility for the first suicide car bomb attack, which took place in the district of Karrada.

Last July, ISIL claimed an attack that killed nearly 300 people in the worst attack to hit the capital in 13 years of war.

Further north, Iraqi forces are currently fighting to retake the last ISIL-held areas of Mosul.

Iraqi commanders say the offensive, which recently entered its eighth month, will mark the end of ISIL in Iraq, but concede the group will likely increase attacks in the wake of military defeats.

 


Source: News agencies