BAGHDAD — Islamic State group militants attacked a Shiite shrine north of Baghdad, killing 30 people, a security spokesman said Friday.
The overnight attack on the Sayyid Mohammed shrine in Balad, which involved suicide bombers and gun and mortar fire, also wounded 50 people, the Joint Operations Command spokesman said in a statement.
The attack followed a devastating bombing in Baghdad that tore through a crowded shopping area early on Sunday ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, killing 292 people.
The Sayyid Mohammed shrine, located in the Balad area, 70 kilometres (around 45 miles) north of Baghdad, was first targeted with mortar rounds, according to the statement on the attack, which it said it was carried out by the IS jihadist group.
Two of the bombers blew themselves up in a market next to the shrine, while the third was killed and his explosive belt defused, it said, without specifying which forces killed the bomber.
The attack came just hours after Iraqi Health Minister Adila Hamoud announced that the death toll from the Sunday bombing had reached 292.
Hamoud said the bodies of 115 killed in the bombing had now been handed over to families, while the identities of 177 others have yet to be determined.
The blast also wounded 200 people, said the minister, who on Tuesday told AFP that the process of identifying the unknown dead — which she put at 150 at the time — was expected to take 15-45 days.
People have been furious over delays in determining the fate of their loved ones, and with the number of unidentified bodies now bigger, it may take even longer.
2 Nepalis in Lhasa jail for smuggling gold
RASUWA — Two Nepali youths are reported to be in a jail in Lhasa of China, on the charge of their involvement in gold smuggling.
Gyal Dorje Tamang of Gosaikunda Rural Municipality-5 in Rasuwa and Bikash Waiba of Hakubesi of Aamachhodongmo Rural Municipality were detained in Chinese territory by the customs department informers of the Tibet government around a month ago as they were about to enter Nepal on a truck bearing the Nepali number plate.
The Chinese side confiscated nine pieces of precious yellow metal from the two, Rasuwa District Police Office quoted the Nepal Consulate General Office in Lhasa as saying.
According to Rasuwa DPO’s Inspector of Police Dhruba Silwal, further details regarding the case are awaited.
It may be noted that the Chinese side has already started implementing the proposal floated by the Nepali side during the past border-security meetings to increase its surveillance in such illegal affairs bearing in mind increasing smuggling of gold into Nepali territory via China, as Silwal said.Follow @gorkhapost