115 killed and 170 people injured in ISIS car bomb attackin Iraq as people celebrated the end of Ramadan

Carnage: People gather at the scene of a suicide car bombing at a busy market in the Diyala province
ISIS suicide bombers have killed 115 men, women and children as they gathered in a marketplace in eastern Iraq to mark the end of the Islamic holy month.

The extremists drove a truck loaded with explosives into the town of Khan Beni Saad on Friday evening, before they detonated the bombs and turned what should have been celebrations into a scene of horror, with body parts scattered across the market.

At least 170 people were injured, police officialsin Diyala province said, while the death toll in Khan Beni Saad is understood to be 115 making this one of the deadliest attacks in a decade.

Men quickly emptied boxes of tomatoes to use them for carrying the bodies of small children, witnesses said, while injured people lay scattered around the attack scene waiting for medical assistance.

‘Khan Beni Saad has become a disaster area because of this huge explosion,’ Diyala resident Sayif Ali said.

‘This is the first day of Eid, hundreds of people got killed, many injured, and we are still searching for more bodies.’

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on Twitter accounts associated with the militant group.

Iraq’s speaker of parliament Salim al-Jabouri said on Saturday that the attack has struck an ‘ugly sectarian chord’.

The victims were mostly Shiite, while ISIS is a Sunni group.

al-Jabouri added that government is making ‘attempts to regulate Daesh’s terror from destabilizing Diyala security,’ referring to the militant group by its Arabic acronym.

But anger is rife in the volatile province, where a number of towns were captured by the Islamic State group last year.

Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters have since retaken those areas, but clashes between the militants and security forces continue.

‘We went out to the market for shopping and preparations for the holiday Eid in order to receive holiday cheer,’ said another resident, who spoke anonymously for fear of retribution.

‘But this joy has turned to grief and we have lost family, friends and relatives, all because of this government’s failure to provide us with security.’

Security forces were out in full force across Diyala on Saturday, with dozens of new checkpoints and security protocols immediately implemented in the wake of Friday’s attack.

‘This horrible carnage is truly outside all boundaries of civilized behavior,’ Jan Kubis, the special representative of the United Nations mission in Iraq, said.

Elsewhere in Iraq, a roadside bomb on a commercial street in Baghdad’s Dora district Saturday killed four people and wounded seven. North of Baghdad, a roadside bomb on a commercial street in al-Rashidiya killed three people and wounded 11.

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Source: By ASSOCIATED PRESS

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