Minibus Bombing Outside Iraq’s Karbala Kills 12, Injures 5
It was not immediately clear whether a suicide bomber caused the explosion.
A bomb exploded on a minibus packed with passengers outside the Shiite holy city of Karbala on Friday, 20 September, killing 12 people and wounding five others, Iraqi security officials and the state news agency said.
According to the officials, the blast occurred as the bus was passing through an Iraqi army checkpoint between Karbala and al-Hilla.
This was one of the biggest attacks targeting civilians since the extremist Islamic State group was declared defeated inside Iraq in 2017.
The group's sleeper cells continue to wage an insurgency and carry out sporadic attacks across the country. The explosion occurred on Friday night as the bus was passing through an Iraqi army checkpoint, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Karbala in the direction of the town of al-Hilla.
One official told The Associated Press that before the blast, a passenger exited the minibus but left a bag containing explosives under one of the seats. The device was then detonated remotely at the checkpoint.
The officials said all of the deceased were civilians. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
It was not immediately clear whether a suicide bomber caused the explosion. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State group in 2017, but the group's sleeper cells continue to wage an insurgency and carry out sporadic attacks across the country.
The attack has taken place during a holy period marked by Shiites in Iraq between two important religious events, Ashoura and Arbaeen.
(Published in an arrangement with AP)
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