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Car Bomb Blast Kills at Least 80 in Iraqi Market


Iraqi security forces stand guard outside a Sunni mosque during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr in Baghdad, Iraq, July 17, 2015.

At least 80 people were killed Friday in a suicide car bombing in Iraq's eastern Diyala province in one of the deadliest attacks carried out by Islamic State militants since they overran large parts of Iraq, officials said.

The force of the blast at a marketplace in Khan Bani Saad, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) northeast of Baghdad, brought down several buildings, crushing people who were celebrating the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, police and medics said.

At least 50 people were reported wounded. Women and children were among the victims.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the blast in social forums and said the targets were Shi'ite Muslims.

Angry crowds went on a rampage after the explosion, smashing the windows of cars parked in the street in grief and anger.

"Some people were using vegetable boxes to collect children's body parts," police Major Ahmed al-Tamimi said from the site of the explosion, describing the damage to the market as "devastating."

The Diyala provincial government declared three days of mourning and ordered all parks and entertainment places to close for the rest of the Eid al-Fitr holiday to avoid further attacks.

Islamic State militants captured parts of Diyala province last year. Iraq forces and Kurdish fighters have since retaken those areas, but clashes between the militants and security forces continue.

Some information for this report came from Reuters.

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