BAGHDAD (AFP) - Blasts killed at least 24 people in one of Baghdad’s main Shiite neighbourhoods Saturday when suicide bombers tried to breach a checkpoint in an attack claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.
“Three suicide bombers tried to cross the checkpoint at Adan Square” in the Kadhimiyah neighbourhood, said Baghdad Operations Command spokesman Saad Maan.
The attack took place at around 5.30pm (10.30pm Singapore time) on the square, one of the main access points for the Shi'ite shrine of Kadhimiyah, which attracts many visitors on Saturdays.
Saad Maan said security forces at the checkpoint engaged the attackers and shot dead one of them, while the other two blew themselves up.
A police colonel said one of the explosions was caused by a suicide car bomb.
He said at least 24 people were killed and 61 wounded. A source at the nearby Kadhimiyah hospital and an interior ministry official confirmed the casualty toll.
Baghdad Province of the Islamic State group, which has controlled swathes of Iraq since last year, claimed responsibility for the attack, said a US monitoring group.
The ISIS affiliate tweeted that two bombers, Abu Hudhayfa and Abu Aisha, detonated their explosive belts, one after the other, at Shi'ite gatherings in Kadhimiyah, according to Site Intelligence Group.
Adan Square has been repeatedly hit by attacks. More than 20 people died in a suicide bomb blast there in February.
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.
The Baghdad governorate alone accounted for 257 of the deaths.
The UN says its figures only account for the casualties that can be verified and are likely far below reality.