x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

At least 23 killed in Baghdad suicide bomb attack

A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shiite office in Baghdad, killing at least 23 and wounding more than 100.

Rescuers search for bodies at the site of a bomb attack in the central Bab Al Muadham area in Baghdad today.
Rescuers search for bodies at the site of a bomb attack in the central Bab Al Muadham area in Baghdad today.

BAGHDAD // A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shiite office in Baghdad, killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 100.

The bombing on the Shiite religious office came at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tension.

The attacker targeted the Shiite Endowment - a government-run body that manages Shiite religious and cultural sites - leaving dead and wounded on a nearby street and damaging its headquarters, police and witnesses said.

Violence in Iraq has eased, but Sunni insurgents tied to Al Qaeda are still capable of devastating attacks and often hit Shiite targets to stir up the kind of sectarian pressure that pushed Iraq close to civil war in 2006-2007.

Security officials said the bombing appeared to have been carried out by Islamic State of Iraq, Al Qaeda's Iraqi wing, which often uses suicide bombers in its attacks.

The Shiite Endowment has recently been caught up in a dispute with the Sunni Endowment over control of a key Shiite shrine in the city of Samarra.