18 Jul 2015

Iraq bomb kills over 100 in Islamic State-claimed attack

At least 100 people are killed by a suicide bomb blast in a town just 20 miles from Iraq’s capital Baghdad. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Warning: viewers may find some images in this film distressing

The force of the bomb blast brought down several buildings in the town of Khan Bani Saad, which is about 20 miles north east of Baghdad.

Several of the victims were crushed while celebrating the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, police and medics said.

The death toll from the suicide car bombing soon rose to 115. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Residents continued to search for victims of the blast on Saturday as wreckage was cleared from the road.

Debris and rubble from the blast was strewn across the road on Saturday, and burnt out cars were towed from the scene.

Angry crowds went on the rampage after the explosion, smashing the windows of cars parked in the street in grief and anger.

An officer from the Diyala police command said on Friday that rescue crews were still retrieving bodies from under the debris so the death toll could rise.

The Diyala provincial government declared three days’ mourning and ordered all parks and places of entertainment to close for the rest of the Eid al-Fitr holiday to pre-empt any further attacks.

IS said in a statement issued on Twitter that the attack was to avenge the killing of Sunni Muslims in the northern Iraqi town of Hawija, and that the suicide car bomber was carrying around three tonnes of explosives.

Iraqi officials declared victory over IS in Diyala earlier this year after security forces and Shi’ite paramilitaries drove them out of towns and villages there, but the militants remain active in the province.

The United Nations said earlier this week that nearly 15,000 people had been killed in the 16-month period up to April 30.