Iraq car bomb kills 80 celebrating end of Ramadan

Force of blast in Khan Bani Saad leaves many crushed under collapsed buildings

Sunni worshippers  at a mosque during the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan in Baghdad, Friday,  July 17th, 2015. A car bomb killed at least 80 people  at a market in a town near Baghdad which was busy due to the holiday. Photograph: Ahmed Saad/Reuters

Sunni worshippers at a mosque during the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan in Baghdad, Friday, July 17th, 2015. A car bomb killed at least 80 people at a market in a town near Baghdad which was busy due to the holiday. Photograph: Ahmed Saad/Reuters

 

A car bomb killed at least 80 people, including children, at a busy market in an Iraqi town on Friday in one of the deadliest attacks since Islamic State militants overran large parts of the country.

The force of the blast in Khan Bani Saad, about 30km (20 miles) northeast of Baghdad, brought down several buildings, crushing people who were celebrating the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, police and medics said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Islamic State militants who control large parts of northern and western Iraq have previously carried out attacks in the mixed eastern province of Diyala where Khan Bani Saad is located.

Angry crowds went on the rampage after the explosion, smashing the windows of cars parked in the street in grief and anger.

“Some people were using vegetable boxes to collect children’s body parts,” said police major Ahmed al-Tamimi from the site of the explosion, describing the damage to the market as “devastating”.

An officer from the Diyala police command said rescue crews were still retrieving bodies from under the debris and the death toll could rise further.

The Diyala provincial government declared three days’ mourning and ordered all parks and entertainment places to close for the rest of the Eid ul-Fitr holiday to avoid further attacks.

Reuters