Dozens dead as ISIL claims attacks against Iraqi Shias

Suicide blast and roadside bomb rock Baghdad, killing at least 26 people and injuring more than 60.

    Friday's violence comes as Iraqi Kurdish forces captured the town of Sinjar from ISIL [File pic - Hadi Mizban/AP]
    Friday's violence comes as Iraqi Kurdish forces captured the town of Sinjar from ISIL [File pic - Hadi Mizban/AP]

    At least 26 people have been killed and dozens injured in two separate attacks targeting Shias in Baghdad, Iraqi officials have said.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on Friday that targeted a funeral held for a Shia fighter killed in battle against ISIL, police officials said.

    The explosion in Hay al-Amal, a suburb of the capital, killed at least 21 people and injured 46. 

    Also on Friday, a roadside bomb that detonated at a Shia shrine in Sadr City killed at least five people and wounded 15 others, police officials said.

    Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures, the AP news agency reported. 

    The attacks came as Iraqi Kurdish forces announced on Friday the "liberation" of the town of Sinjar in a major operation against ISIL.

    Analysis: Is Sinjar the new Kobane?

    The offensive, led by the Iraqi autonomous Kurdish region's Peshmerga forces, also involved US air support and fighters from the Yazidi minority, a local Kurdish-speaking community targeted in a brutal ISIL campaign of massacres, enslavement and rape.

    In a statement distributed on pro-ISIL Twitter accounts, the Sunni group said the aim of Friday's attacks in Baghdad was "revenge for our monotheist brothers in al-Fallujah, al-Anbar, and Salahaldin," referring to ongoing Iraqi military operations to retrieve land lost to ISIL in those locations.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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