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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

More Than 100 Killed in Iraq Car Bomb

by VOA News July 18, 2015

Iraqi officials said that up to 115 people, including women and children, were killed in a suicide car bombing in the country's eastern Diyala province, in one of the deadliest attacks carried out by Islamic State militants since they overran large parts of Iraq.

The blast Friday at a marketplace in the mainly Shi'ite town of Khan Bani Saad also wounded up to 170 people, police officials said while speaking anonymously because they are not authorized to brief the media.

Many people had gathered in the marketplace to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The blast is reported to have destroyed several buildings, crushing some victims and leaving the streets filled with debris.

Looking for victims

Officials are still working Saturday to find victims trapped under the wreckage.

Iraq's speaker of parliament, Salim al-Jabouri, said Saturday that the attack has struck an 'ugly sectarian chord,' and added that government is making 'attempts to regulate Daesh's terror from destabilizing Diyala security,' referring to the militant group by its Arabic acronym.

​​Security forces were out in full force across Diyala on Saturday, with dozens of new checkpoints and security protocols immediately implemented in the wake of Friday's attack.

'This horrible carnage is truly outside all boundaries of civilized behavior,' Jan Kubis, the special representative of the United Nations mission in Iraq, said Saturday.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the blast in social forums and said the target was Shi'ite Muslims.

The group claimed on Twitter that the bomber was carrying about three tons of explosives in his vehicle.

Mourning

The Diyala provincial government has declared three days of mourning and the cancellation of holiday festivities in response to the bombing.

Khan Bani Saad is about 20 kilometers east of Baghdad.

Islamic State militants captured parts of Diyala province last year.

Iraq forces and Kurdish fighters have since retaken those areas, but clashes between the militants and security forces continue.

Elsewhere in Iraq, a roadside bomb on a commercial street in Baghdad's Dora district Saturday killed four people and wounded seven.

North of Baghdad, a roadside bomb on a commercial street in al-Rashidiya killed three people and wounded 11.

Meanwhile, reports emerged Saturday that the Islamic State group used projectile-delivered poison gas against Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria on several occasions last month.



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