September 26, 2020

Car bomb kills 13 outside Iraqi restaurant

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BAGHDAD (AP) — A car bombing Wednesday morning killed 13 people and wounded scores of others in southern Iraq as the blast went off outside a restaurant where local police were having breakfast, officials said.

The bombing was the deadliest in a day that had already claimed more lives. In all, 17 people were killed — at least six of them Iraqi soldiers or police — by midmorning and more than 50 people were wounded.

Insurgents often target Iraqi soldiers and police who have been trained by American troops, labeling them as traitors.

The attacks also reveal how vulnerable Iraqi forces remain with just under four months before U.S. troops are scheduled to leave the country after more than eight years of war.

Those killed at the restaurant included two policemen, said Dr. Zuhair al-Khafaji of the Hillah hospital, where the injured and dead were taken. Four policemen were also among the 41 wounded in the explosion, which took place shortly before 8 a.m. n the town of al-Shumali, just south of Hillah and about 55 miles (90 kilometers) south of Baghdad.

The town is a popular resting place for Shiite pilgrims headed to the holy shrine of the Imam al-Hamza, about three miles (four kilometers) south of the town.

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