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Suicide bombers target Iraqi wedding, at least 26 killed

Smoke rises from clashes during a battle between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani – RTS1235Q

One of the bombers blew himself up “amid men who were dancing”, but most of those killed in the twin blasts were children.

March 09, 2017

At least 26 people have been killed after two suicide bombers struck a wedding party in a village north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Most of the dead were children and more than 60 people were also wounded in Wednesday’s twin bombing in Hajaj, near the city of Tikrit.

The second killer detoned his explosives belt after the crowd had swelled with people rushing to help the victims of the first explosion.

“The first blew himself up amid men who were dancing during the celebration,” police said.

An Iraqi soldier treats a wounded child amid displaced civilians northwest of Mosul

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the suspicion fell on the Islamic State terror group which has targeted civilians and members of the security forces in Iraq in similar attacks in the past.

The bombing came as Iraqi forces advanced deeper into west Mosul, the extremist group’s largest remaining urban stronghold.

During the past week they have recaptured a government complex and the city’s antiquities museum where the Islamic State terror group had destroyed priceless relics.

Eastern Mosul was declared “fully liberated” in February, but the militants have carried out attacks there since then.

Fighting in western Mosul has forced more than 50,000 people to flee, the International Organization for Migration said.

the Islamic State terror group overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led airstrikes and other support have since regained most of the ground they lost.

It is one of the reasons coalition forces are facing increasingly stiff resistance from the Islamic State terror group – using suicide car bombs and snipers – as the group attempts to distract from its losses.