Scores killed after Baghdad bomb blast targets Shia pilgrims

Scores killed after Baghdad bomb blast targets Shia pilgrims
More than 40 people have died after a car bomb, targeting Shia pilgrims near a shrine, exploded in the Iraqi capital on Saturday.
2 min read
30 April, 2016
Baghdad has been rocked by weeks of similar attacks [Anadolu]
At least 48 people were killed and 36 wounded when a car bomb, targeting Shia pilgrims, exploded in a residential neighbourhood in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad on Saturday.

The explosion rocked a busy road in the Nahrawan area near the capital where thousands of Shias pass to reach the shrine of Imam Musa al-Kadhim for annual commemorations.

It comes as officials announce plans to step up security measures for pilgrims visiting the shrine.

"Intense security measures have been taken to secure visitors," a statement read.

It added: "A ban on motorcycles in Baghdad as well as other measures implemented serve the welfare of citizens and visitors and will continue to do so till the end of the annual commemorations."

Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Saturday's blast is just the latest in a string of attacks to hit Iraq.

At least 42 people were killed when a suicide bomb ripped through shops in eastern Baghdad earlier in the week.

A week earlier, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a checkpoint on the northeastern edge of Iraq's capital Baghdad, killing at least nine people and wounding at least 24.

Another car bomb exploded on the same day near an army patrol in the Dura area of southern Baghdad, killing at least three and wounding around eight.

The Islamic State group overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led airstrikes have since regained significant ground.

The extremists still control a large part of western Iraq, and are able to carry out frequent bombings in government-held areas.