Bombings kill 27 in Iraq

Around 50 were wounded by the attacks at a marketplace and a checkpoint manned by Shia militiamen

Baghdad: A series of car bombs on Saturday ripped through a crowded marketplace and a Shia militia’s checkpoint, killing 27 people in separate attacks north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, officials said.

Police said the first attack took place on Saturday morning when a car bomb exploded near a busy market in the town of Balad Ruz.

Minutes later, a second car bomb went off, targeting people who gathered to inspect the site of the first blast. Police and hospital officials said 11 people were killed and 50 wounded.

Suicide bomber
Later on, a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into a checkpoint manned by Shia militiamen who are fighting Islamic State militants near the city of Samarra, killing eight Shia fighters and wounding 15 others. Police said clashes erupted between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State militants following the attack in Samarra.

Iraqi security forces along with  have been struggling to retake areas lost to the group.

Rare artifacts ruined
Meanwhile in Baghdad, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi vowed to track down and punish those who were behind the smashing of rare ancient artifacts in the northern city of Mosul.

On Thursday, the Islamic State group released a video purportedly showing militants using sledgehammers to smash the statues, describing them as idols that must be removed. The vandalism drew global condemnation.

“Those barbaric, criminal terrorists are trying to destroy the heritage of the mankind and Iraq’s civilisation. We will  make them pay for every drop of blood shed in Iraq,” said al-Abadi during a celebration held in the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad on Saturday

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