iraq.jpg
Photograph: EPA/ALI HAIDER

Suicide bombers on Thursday killed at least 20 people and injured 60 others in two terrorist attacks in separate areas of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, police said.

Seventeen people were killed and 50 others injured when an explosives-laden car exploded in a commercial street in the mainly Shiite neighbourhood of Baghdad al-Jadida in eastern Baghdad.

Supporters of the Islamic State extremist group circulated on social media a claim of responsibility, saying that a male suicide bomber detonated the car amid a crowd of Shiite paramilitaries.

dpa could not independently verify the claim of responsibility, but it was similar to previous statements issued by the extremist group.

In northern Baghdad, meanwhile, a suicide bomber targeting an army checkpoint blew himself up, killing at least three people and injuring 10 others.

In recent months, Islamic State has frequently targeted mostly Shiite areas and security forces in Iraq. The radical Sunni group regards Shiites as heretics.

Thursday's attacks come as government forces, backed by US-led airstrikes, are pressing on with an operation to drive Islamic State militants out of the mostly Sunni city of Fallujah in western Iraq.

The al-Qaeda splinter group still holds Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

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