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Car bomb kills at least 56 in Iraq as troops advance in Mosul

Published 24/11/2016

Iraqi special forces soldiers on a tank in Mosul (AP)
Iraqi special forces soldiers on a tank in Mosul (AP)

At least 56 people, including 20 Iranian pilgrims, have been killed by a car bomb south of Baghdad.

The attack, which also left 45 others wounded, took place at a petrol station near the city of Hilla, according to hospital and police officials.

They said the target of the attack appears to have been a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims heading home after taking part in a major Shiite holiday in the holy city of Karbala.

The Islamic State group claimed it carried out the attack, saying it was a suicide truck bomb.

Meanwhile, a senior Iraqi commander said his troops have driven Islamic State militants from three more neighbourhoods in the northern city of Mosul.

Brig Gen Haider Fadhil, of the special forces, said his men have retaken the neighbourhoods of Amn, Qahira and Green Apartment and were expanding their foothold in the densely populated district of Zohour.

The neighbourhoods are all in the eastern sector of Mosul, east of the Tigris River, where most of the fighting has taken place since the government's campaign to liberate the city began on October 17.

Government troops are backed by US-led coalition air strikes against IS positions in the city.

Mosul, captured by IS in 2014, is the last major urban centre still held by the Sunni extremist group in Iraq.

AP

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