Baghdad: The death toll from an attack on a Shiite shrine north of Baghdad has risen to 37, with 62 people wounded, Iraqi officials said. The assault on the revered shrine comes less than a week after a bombing in central Baghdad claimed by ISIS killed at least 186 people, fuelling anger at the Iraqi government’s security failings.
Iraqi policemen inspect Sayyid Mohammed shrine in Baghdad after the attack. Pic/AFP
The attack began with a volley of mortar fire on Sayyid Mohammed shrine and a nearby market in Balad, late Thursday night. A suicide bomber first targeted policemen guarding the shrine’s entrance, allowing a second bomber to push into the courtyard with nine gunmen, who targeted security forces and civilians gathered inside to celebrate Eid. A third bomber was killed before he detonated his explosives, police said. Hospital officials confirmed the death toll.
Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi sacked the head of Baghdad security command and other officials after the attack in the capital.
Abadi issued “an order to relieve the Baghdad Operations commander of his position, and relieving security and intelligence officials in Baghdad of their positions,” a statement said. The head of Baghdad Operations Command was Lieutenant General Abdulamir al-Shimmari.