ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – In a statement on Thursday, the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani condemned the suicide car bomb attack in southern Baghdad that killed 70 and injured several more people.
President Barzani strongly condemned “the inhumane terrorist” attack, and sent his condolences to the families of the victims as well as wishing a speedy recovery for the wounded people.
“We are confident that such inhumane actions of terrorists won’t help their defeats on the front lines,” the statement continued, referring to the so-called Islamic State (IS).
On Thursday, a suicide truck bomb detonated at a petrol station near the city of Hillah, 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Baghdad.
According to police and medical sources, at least 70 people were killed and scores more injured.
Most of the victims were Iranian Shia pilgrims who recently visited the country to participate in religious rituals.
The pilgrims were on their way back to Iran from Karbala, the Iraqi holy city, where they had commemorated the 40th day of mourning for Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed killed in the seventh century AD.
A police official noted the petrol station had a restaurant nearby which was a popular destination for the travelers. Following the explosion, five pilgrim buses were set on fire.
IS, who considers all Shia people apostates, claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement shortly after the violence.
Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces with the support of the US-led coalition warplanes had begun clearing Mosul, the second-largest city under the control of IS.
IS occupied Mosul in June 2014 and expanded to other provinces in Iraq including Nineveh, Kirkuk, Diyala, and Anbar.
The group has since lost most of the territory it controlled before and continues to shrink.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany