Baghdad echoes again, as a suicide truck bomb killed 100 people, on Thursday, at a petrol station in the city of Hilla, which is about 100km from Baghdad.
For the terrorist attack, the Islamic State militant group has claimed the responsibility in an online statement.
It is reported that the attack was intended to target the pilgrims, who were on their way back to Iran from Karbala, where they had gathered to commemorate Abraeen. The gas station where the explosion took place, has a restaurant which is usually very crowded most of the times with the travelers. Around five pilgrim buses were torched by the force of the blast from the truck loaded with explosives, said a police official.
Also, according to the police and medical officials, most of the people who were among the victims, were Iranians, whereas, the attack that took place was near a village called Shomali.
“At least seven buses with pilgrims were inside the petrol station at the time,” a senior police said. “Those buses were loaded with Iranians, Bahrainis and Iraqis. Ambulances and civil defence are on their way to the site. There were Iranians but also lots of people from Basra and Nasiriyah,” Mousa Omran said, referring to another southern city. Between 17 and 20 million people visited Karbala, home to the mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Husain.
The days-long final phase of the pilgrimage sees huge numbers of pilgrims walks long distances to reach Karbala. According to the Iraqi authorities, around three million Iranians were among the pilgrims this years and many of them even extended their stay in the shrine city. During the pilgrimage, the police forces in Iraq were kept on High alert as they feared the city to be the potential target for the IS.
The militant group which is currently trying to protect its last major Iraqi bastion of Mosul against a massive offensive, has claimed many of such bombings. According to the analysts, IS has increased their number of attacks over the past month in such areas.
In a statement quoted by the SITE Intelligence Group, the group said a bomber “blew up his vehicle amidst their assembly, inflicting among them more than 200 killed and wounded, including Iranians”.