Update: Daesh continues its assault on Iraqi Shia, shrine attack death toll climbs to 37
AFP Photo Document reference000_CY10D SLUGTOPSHOTS - IRAQ - CONFLICT - BOMBING Creation date7/8/2016 CountryIRAQ CreditAHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP File size/pixels/dpi63.28 Mb / 5760 x 3840 / 300 dpi An Iraqi policeman inspects the aftermath scene of a mortar and bombing attack on the Sayyid Mohammed shrine north of Baghdad on July 8, 2016. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)
At least 37 civilians have lost their lives and 62 others sustained injuries when Daesh militants carried out a bombing and shooting attack near a Shia shrine north of the Iraqi capital.
Security sources said a militant blew himself up at the external gate of the mausoleum of Sayyid Muhammad bin Ali al-Hadi in the city of Balad, situated 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad, late on Thursday.
Several militants then stormed into the holy site and started shooting at pilgrims. Another bomber also detonated his explosives in the middle of the crowd, who were celebrating Eid al-Fitr festivities, which mark the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Reuters reported.
Security forces killed a third bomber and defused his explosives, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.
The militants also fired several mortar rounds at the mausoleum during the attack.
The development comes as the death toll from Sunday’s car bomb attacks in busy commercial areas of the capital has climbed to 292.
The first attack occurred at about 1 am local time (2200 GMT Saturday), when a bomber blew up his refrigerator truck packed with explosives at a crowded thoroughfare in the Baghdad’s south-central neighborhood of Karrada.
The area was busy at the time, as people were eating out and shopping late at night for Eid al-Fitr.
At least four buildings were severely damaged or partly collapsed, including a shopping mall that is thought to be the main target of the bombing. Burnt-out shells of a lot of vehicles parked in the area were scattered all around.
Shortly afterwards, a roadside bomb explosion ripped through Shallal market in the capital’s northern neighborhood of Shaab.
Daesh later claimed responsibility for the attacks, which it said were aimed at the Shia neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the original.