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At least 12 dead in Iraq's car bomb explosion

The blast also set on fire 13 civilian vehicles nearby. (Representative image) Photograph: (AFP)

ANI Baquba, Iraq Jul 25, 2016, 11.58 AM (IST)
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle near a crowded checkpoint north of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 12 people, security and medical officials said.

The blast at the entrance to the town of Khales also wounded 37, according to Diyala province police spokesman Colonel Ghalib al-Attiyah and health department spokesman Faris al-Azzawi.

Hospital sources said the death toll was expected to rise given the extent of critical injuries.

Attiyah said the checkpoint was crowded with cars, and that a number of them were burned in the blast.

Amaq, a news agency that supports Islamic State, said the attack had targeted Iraqi troops in Khalis.

The blast came a day after a suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State killed at least 15 people in Baghdad's Kadhimiyah neighbourhood.

Islamic State overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces have since regained significant ground and are conducting operations to set the stage for the battle to recapture Mosul, the last IS-held city in the country.

The jihadists have responded to the battlefield setbacks by striking civilians, and experts have warned there may be more such attacks as the jihadists continue to lose ground.

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