Security tightens in Iraq after truck bombing, 11 arrested

Published March 7th, 2016 - 01:00 GMT
People examine the debris after a truck bomb exploded at a checkpoint in Hilla. (AFP/Haidar Hamdani)
People examine the debris after a truck bomb exploded at a checkpoint in Hilla. (AFP/Haidar Hamdani)

AFP reports that Iraqi authorities have upped security throughout several provinces after a suicide attack that killed 61 people on Sunday. 

"There are serious security measures at all checkpoints around Baghdad following the suicide attack north of Hilla yesterday," a police colonel in the capital said to AFP.

"These terrorists often try to strike several times in quick succession."

On Sunday, a tanker truck packed with explosives blew up at a checkpoint in Hilla, south of Baghdad. At least 61 people were killed.

"There are four women and seven children among the dead," a doctor at the Babil province health directorate confirmed to AFP, adding that there were at least 60 wounded from the blast who are still being treated at the hospital. 

Security forces increased their presence in Hilla and nearby cities, in an attempt to dissuade additional attacks. 

Officials are concerned that the Daesh cell group that rigged the tanker truck may have other suicide vehicles prepared. Baghdad and Najaf have also increased their security in anticipation.

 

A police officer at Babil Operations Command confirmed to AFP that 11 people were arrested in Jbala, a town northeast of Hilla, in connect to Sunday's suicide attack. The charges against the 11 were not released to the public, and it is not known if they were directly involved in the bombing.

The types of explosives used in the Hilla bombing are similar to charges used in recent bombings near Baghdad. Iraqi authorities are investigating potential connections. 


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