Time: 6:27 p.m. CEST
The death toll from a car bombing south of Baghdad rose to 73 on Friday, the Associated Press reports. Islamic State group claimed the responsibility for the attack in a statement on its Amaq media arm.
Earlier, Iraqi officials said the death toll was at 56. The attack happened on Thursday night near the city of Hilla, about 95 kilometers (60 miles) south of the Iraqi capital. A day before the attack dozen small-scale bombings happened in and around Baghdad, which killed 31 people and wounded more than 100, the AP says.
Among those who died are 40 Iranians, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi explained in a statement to the semi-official Tasnim news agency, even though “conflicting death tolls are common in the aftermath of large attacks.”
Thursday’s night bombing was in Shiite part in Baghdad, area that rarely witnessed near-daily violence seen in the capital and Sunni regions. With more than 60 dead, this was a larger attack in Iraq since July, when a car bomb killed about 300 people in Baghdad.
On Friday, fighting continue in Mosul, where the government forces are in offensive to retake the city of the Islamic State group. The Iraqi forces retake Masaref neighborhood and advanced in the populated Zohour district, as the AP cited Brig. Gen Haider Fadhil.