Suicide attack hits cafe in central Iraq

At least 16 people killed and 34 wounded after explosion in Shia-majority town of Balad.

Balad attack

A deadly suicide attack in central Iraq has killed at least 16 people, according to local police and hospital sources.

Police said the suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt on Monday evening inside a cafe in Balad, a Shia-majority town 80km north of Baghdad.

At least 34 people were also wounded in the blast, according to medical sources.

The latest attack came a day after al-Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed attacks that killed more than 70 people on Saturday.

Violence has risen dramatically in Iraq in recent months. Civilian targets such as cafes and markets have been attacked, especially during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, when many Iraqis went to cafes after breaking their daytime fast.

This Ramadan, which ended last week, was one of the deadliest for Iraq in years, with more than 800 people killed in attacks.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies