Car bombing kills at least 18 pilgrims in Baghdad

An explosives-laden car detonated on Monday in the Iraqi capital, killing at least 18 Shiite pilgrims who were commemorating the anniversary of the death of a revered imam, officials say.

Islamic State is claiming responsibility for the attack in an online statement. It says the assault was carried out by a suicide bomber, but Iraqi officials deny that.

According to an Iraqi police officer, the car was parked in Baghdad’s southwestern Saydiyah neighborhood and blew up shortly after midday. The explosion killed at least 18 and wounded 45 people, the officer says.

Tens of thousands of Shiite faithful have been making their way this week to the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Kadhimiyah, where the 8th century Imam Moussa al-Kadhim is buried. Security forces have blocked major roads in Baghdad in anticipation of attacks against pilgrims who traditionally travel on foot from different parts of Iraq.

— AP

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