New Delhi : In a horrific incident in the Shiite city of Karbala, a bomb exploded in a minibus packed with passengers. The explosion killed 12 people and wounded five others, the holy city’s health authorities reported.
According to officials, the explosion occurred when the bus was passing through an Iraqi army checkpoint between Karbala and al-Hilla. This attack counts as the biggest one that has happened thus far on civilians since the Islamic State group was declared defeated in Iraq in 2017. The group’s sleeper cells continue to carry out sporadic attacks across the country.
UPDATE: Death toll in explosion near Karbala, Iraq has risen to 12 people https://t.co/XeN8swBfsk pic.twitter.com/tsJOSg6msr— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) September 20, 2019
UPDATE: Death toll in explosion near Karbala, Iraq has risen to 12 people https://t.co/XeN8swBfsk pic.twitter.com/tsJOSg6msr
— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) September 20, 2019
It is alleged that a passenger left a bag of explosives under one of the bus seats and deboarded it soon after. The device was detonated remotely at a checkpoint. All of the people killed in the explosion were civilians, officials said.
It may be noted that this incident took place during a holy period that is marked by Shiites in Iraq between two religious events, Ashoura and Arbaeen. The latter is the annual commemoration marking the end of the mourning period for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and a central figure in Shiite Islam.