"Islamic State" (IS) has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on an Iraqi police checkpoint outside the city of Hilla. Initial reports say the attack claimed at least 47 victims.
A car bomb exploded at a crowded checkpoint outside the city of Hilla, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the capital Baghdad, on Sunday, killing at least 47 people. Some news agencies reported the death toll could be as high as 60.
A doctor at Hilla hospital said at least 11 of the wounded were also in a very serious condition. According to the head of the provincial security committee more than 60 people were taken to hospitals in the area.
It was not immediately clear if the victims included civilians. Pictures posted on social media, however, showed vast destruction around the checkpoint, where civilian cars are reported to be bumper-to-bumper at that time of day.
'Islamic State' claims responsibility
An Islamic State-affiliated news outlet said the terrorist organization was responsible for the attack.
"A martyr's operation with a truck bomb hit the Babylon Ruins checkpoint at the entrance of the city of Hilla, killing and wounding dozens," the statement on the Amaq website said.
Hilla is the capital of the province of Babylon, a predominantly Shi'ite region with some Sunni presence. A suicide bombing at another checkpoint outside Hilla two years ago killed 50 people and wounded more than 150.
ss/jlw (AFP, Reuters, dpa)