Bomb blasts killed at least 13 people in one of Baghdad’s main neighborhoods Saturday when three suicide attackers tried to break through a checkpoint, security officials said.
“Three suicide bombers tried to cross the checkpoint at Adan square” in the Kadhimiyah neighborhood, Baghdad Operations Command spokesman Saad Maan said in a statement.
The attack took place at around 5:30 pm (1430 GMT) on Adan square, one of the main access points for the Shiite holy shrine of Kadhimiyah, which attracts many visitors on Saturdays.
Maan said the security forces at the checkpoint engaged the attackers and shot dead one of the bombers by the nearby railway while the other two blew themselves up.
A police colonel said that one of the explosions was caused by a suicide car bomb.
He said initial reports were of 13 killed and 37 wounded. A source at the nearby Kadhimiyah hospital confirmed the casualty toll.
Adan square has been repeatedly hit by attacks. More than 20 people died in a suicide bomb blast there in February.
The so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group, which has seized swathes of Iraq since last year, claims responsibility for most such attacks but there was no immediate claim for Saturday’s twin blasts.
According to figures released by the United Nations Mission in Iraq on Thursday, “a total of 717 Iraqis were killed and another 1,216 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in September 2015.”
The Baghdad governorate alone accounted for 257 of the total deaths. The UN says its figures only account for the casualties that can be verified and are likely far below reality.