Islamic State suicide bomber kills 30 at Iraq football match

HILLA, IRAQ: A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd Friday after a local football match in a village south of Baghdad, killing at least 30 people, police and medics said.

“They were just handing the trophy to the winners when the suicide attacker blew himself up in the crowd,” a police captain from the village, Al-Asriya, told AFP. The village is near Iskandariyah, a town about 40 kilometres south of the capital.

The police captain said more than 65 people were also wounded in the blast.

A medic at Iskandariyah hospital confirmed the toll and told AFP that the attack took place around 7:00 pm.

The mayor of the town was among those killed in the explosion.

“The mayor died in hospital as a result of the serious wounds he suffered in the blast,” the medic said. The Islamic State (IS) group took responsibility for the attack.

Iskandariyah is part of a mixed Sunni-Shia area south of Baghdad which was once dubbed “the triangle of death” and was badly affected by sectarian violence last decade.

Pushing back IS in this region after militants took over large parts of the country in 2014 was one of the priorities of the government and allied Shia militias.