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Oct 6, 10:24 AM EDT

IS claims wave of attacks in Iraq that killed 56 people

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BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Islamic State group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a series of attacks that rocked different parts of Iraq and killed at least 56 people the night before.

The extremist group said a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car among Shiite militia members in the Shiite-majority town of al-Khales in the country's eastern Diyala province. Iraqi officials said the attack hit a commercial area, killing at least 32 people and wounding 58 others.

It added that militants also detonated a car bomb in Baghdad's northeastern neighborhood of Husseiniya that killed at least 14 people and wounded 25 others.

The group also claimed responsibility for an attack on Shiites in Basra's southwest suburb of al-Zubair, killing at least 10 people. The Sunni-dominated al-Zubair is located 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Basra.

The Associated Press could not immediately verify the authenticity of the statements, issued on different Twitter accounts, but its language and phrasing is consistent with past IS claims of responsibility.

IS controls large swaths of Iraq's north and west, including its second-largest city of Mosul and most of Anbar province. It regularly targets Shiite neighborhoods and government installations in an effort to destabilize the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.


Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.

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