Suicide bomber targets funeral in Shiite-majority Baghdad neighborhood | News | DW | 15.10.2016
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Suicide bomber targets funeral in Shiite-majority Baghdad neighborhood

At least 30 people have died after a suicide bomber struck at a funeral gathering in a Shiite neighborhood in northern Baghdad. The militant "Islamic State" group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The targeted attack on Saturday killed at least 35 people and wounded another 63 in the Shaab area in Baghdad, Iraqi hospital and police officials said.

Officials provided two accounts of the lunchtime attack, saying the blast took place either at a funeral tent or at a site where Shiite Muslims distribute food and drinks during annual religious commemorations.

The blast took place inside a tent filled with people taking part in Shiite Ashoura rituals to mourn the killing of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson in the 7th century.

Some of the people in the tent were also mourning the death of a local resident, said authorities.

The militant "Islamic State" (IS) group claimed the attack in a statement posted online, saying the bomber wore an explosive vest.

The attack comes as Iraqi security forces are preparing an offensive to retake the IS-held northern city of Mosul.

The militant group has claimed several recent bombings which targeted Shiites in the Iraqi capital, including three attacks in early October which killed around 15 people in total. IS also claimed another bomb attack in September outside a Baghdad shopping mall that killed 40 people.

In July, a massive car bomb at a popular shopping district in central Baghdad killed around 300 people and forced the resignation of Iraq's interior minister.

rs/jlw (AP, AFP, dpa)