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Suicide bomber kills at least 12 in Shia area of northern Baghdad

AFP , Sunday 24 Jul 2016
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A suicide bomber struck near a checkpoint in a Shi area of northern Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 12 people, Iraqi security and medical officials said.

The blast also wounded at least 22 people, the officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State militants group carries out frequent suicide bombings targeting both Iraqi security forces and members of the country's Shiite majority, whom it considers heretics.

A suicide bomber targeted shoppers in Baghdad's central Karrada district earlier this month, killing 292 people, while an attack on a Shia shrine in Balad, north of the capital, left 40 dead a few days later.

IS group 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 group-held city in the country.

But the militants have responded to the battlefield setbacks by hitting back against civilians, and experts have warned there may be more bombings as the militants continue to lose ground.

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