The Latest: Toll from IS-claimed bombing in Iraq rises to 56

AP News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2016 11:25 AM
The Latest: Toll from IS-claimed bombing in Iraq rises to 56

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Iraq (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

Iraqi officials say the death toll from a car bomb south of Baghdad claimed by the Islamic State group has risen to 56, including 20 Iranians.

Hospital and police officials say Thursday's attack at a gas station near the city of Hilla wounded another 45 people.

The Islamic State group claimed the attack, saying it was a suicide truck bomb.

The officials say the target of the attack appears to have been a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims heading home after taking part in a major Shiite religious observance in the holy city of Karbala.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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6 p.m.

The Islamic State group has claimed a car bomb south of Baghdad that Iraqi officials now say killed at least 28 people, including 10 Iranian pilgrims.

Hospital and police officials say Thursday's parked car bomb, which wounded 35 others, exploded at a gas station near the city of Hilla. They say the gas station was almost completely destroyed and that scores of cars were burned.

The officials say the target of the attack appears to have been a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims heading home after taking part in a major Shiite holiday in the holy city of Karbala.

The officials, who earlier gave a death toll of 21, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

IS claimed the attack in a brief statement carried by its Aamaq news agency. It said the attack was carried out by a suicide truck bomb.

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5:15 p.m.

Iraqi officials say a car bomb south of Baghdad has killed at least 21 people, including 10 Iranian pilgrims.

Hospital and police officials say Thursday's attack, which wounded 32 others, took place at a gas station near the city of Hilla.

The officials say the target of the attack appears to have been a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims heading home after taking part in a major Shiite holiday in the holy city of Karbala.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group.

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1 p.m.

A senior Iraqi commander says his troops have driven Islamic State militants from three more neighborhoods in the northern city of Mosul.

Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil of the special forces told The Associated Press on Thursday his men have retaken the neighborhoods of Amn, Qahira and Green Apartment and were expanding their foothold in the densely populated district of Zohour.

The neighborhoods are all in the eastern sector of Mosul, east of the Tigris River, where most of the fighting has taken place since the government's campaign to liberate the city began Oct. 17.

Government troops are backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against IS positions in the city.

Mosul, captured by IS in 2014, is the last major urban center still held by the Sunni extremist group in Iraq.