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Seven killed after Islamic State suicide bomber strikes in Baghdad

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Iraq which resulted in the deaths of at least seven people setting up tents ahead of a major religious observance.

The bomber struck as residents in Baghdad prepared for the Shiite observance of Ashoura. Police said another 28 people were wounded.

Islamic State claimed responsibility in an online statement. The group said it targeted a gathering of Shiite militia members.

IS and other Sunni extremists frequently target Iraq's Shiite majority, who they view as apostates deserving of death.

The attack in the western Baghdad neighbourhood of Eskan came a day after IS militants launched a triple suicide bombing that killed 11 Iraqi security force members and wounded 34 at a checkpoint north of the capital.

Ashoura commemorates the seventh century death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad

IS has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months, losing much of the territory it seized in the summer of 2014, but it has continued to attack Shiites and security forces.

The extremists still control Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. Iraqi officials say they hope to launch an operation to retake the city by the end of the year.



From Belfast Telegraph