Iran Press TV
Thu Jul 7, 2016 10:9PM
At least 35 civilians have lost their lives and 60 others sustained injuries when a powerful bomb explosion coupled with a shooting attack struck a holy Shia Muslim mausoleum north of the Iraqi capital.
Security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a bomber detonated his explosive-laden car at the external gate of the mausoleum of Sayyid Muhammad bin Ali al-Hadi (PBUH) in the city of Balad, situated 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad, late on Thursday.
Several gunmen then stormed into the holy site, and started shooting at pilgrims as they were celebrating Eid al-Fitr festivities, which mark the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Reuters reported.
No individual or militant group has yet claimed responsibility for the act of violence.
The development comes as the death toll from Sunday's two car bomb attacks in busy commercial areas of the capital has climbed to 292.
The first attack occurred at about 1 a.m. local time (2200 GMT Saturday), when a bomber blew up his refrigerator truck packed with explosives at a crowded thoroughfare in the Baghdad's south-central neighborhood of Karrada.
The area was busy at the time, as people were eating out and shopping late at night for Eid Al-Fitr.
At least four buildings were severely damaged or partly collapsed, including a shopping mall that is thought to be the main target of the bombing. Burnt-out shells of a lot of vehicles parked in the area were scattered all around.
Shortly afterwards, a roadside bomb explosion ripped through Shallal market in the capital's northern neighborhood of Shaab.
The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group later claimed responsibility for the attacks, which it said were aimed at the Shia neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq says a total of 662 Iraqis were killed and another 1,457 wounded in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in June.
According to the UN mission, the number of civilian fatalities stood at 382. Violence also claimed the lives of 280 members of the Iraqi security forces. A great portion of the fatalities was recorded in Baghdad, where 236 civilians were killed.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.
Iraqi government forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Mobilization units, have been fighting the militants.