Baghdad: At least 60 people are dead following the latest in a string suicide bombings in Iraq, a nation fighting the encroachment of the Islamic State and internal conflicts sometimes divided across sectarian lines.
On Sunday, a suicide bomber driving a fuel truck packed with explosives barreled the vehicle through a security checkpoint about 65 miles south of Bagdad as long lines of cars and trucks waited to cross through the city of Hillah’s main gate, authorities said
Most of the people killed were civilians in what was the third suicide bombing during the last week alone in the embattled country. Dozens more were also injured.
Witnesses described seeing crowds of people digging through a jumbled mass of debris and burning vehicles to search for survivors.
“The blast has completely destroyed the checkpoint and its buildings,” Falah al-Khafaji, a security official at the scene told the Associated Press. “More than 100 cars have been damaged.”
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing through a posting on the website of the Amaqa news agency, which supports the militant group.
“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,” ISIS said in a statement, according to Reauters.
The militant group has killed nearly 200 people in Iraq since early February, including 78 more people killed Monday in a bustling suburban market south of Baghdad.