Iraq: At least 30 killed in ISIL assault on Baghdad shrine
July 8, Baghdad: At least 30 people have been killed in suicide bomb, gun and mortar attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on a Shia shrine north of Iraq's capital Baghdad.
Officials have said that the incident comes just days after the worst bombing in the country since the US-led invasion of 2003, which was also claimed by ISIL in a bustling Baghdad street, killed 292 people.
According to the army's Joint Operations Command spokesman said in a statement on Friday that the overnight assault on the Sayyid Mohammed shrine in Balad also wounded 50 people.
The shrine was first targeted with mortar rounds before suicide bombers arrived and opened fire. Two of the bombers blew themselves up in a market next to the shrine, while a third was killed and his explosives belt defused, the statement said, giving no further details on how he was killed.
Iraq had been on high alert after Sunday's devastating attack in Baghdad ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Iraqi Health Minister Adila Hamoud said late on Thursday that the bodies of 115 people killed in the bombing had now been handed over to families, while the identities of 177 others had yet to be determined.
Hamoud said that the blast also wounded 200 people.
The attack has overshadowed what would normally be a joyful holiday for Iraqi Muslims, instead turning it into a time of mourning and sadness. Families have said they are furious over delays in identifying their relatives.
Interior Minister Mohammed Ghabban resigned after the attack, and authorities also announced the execution of five convicts and the arrest of 40 fighters in an apparent bid to limit fallout, reports said.
The Oslo Times International News Network