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ISIS car bomb in eastern Iraq kills 12, sources say

Iraqi officials declared victory over ISIS in Diyala more than a year ago

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A car bomb claimed by ISIS in the eastern Iraqi city of Baquba killed at least 12 people on Monday and wounded more than 40 near a popular restaurant close to the city center, police and hospital sources said.

The Amaq news agency, which supports ISIS, said a suicide bomber had targeted Shiite Muslim militia fighters in the provincial capital of Diyala, a mixed Shiite and Sunni Muslim area bordering Iran.

The sources said they expected the death toll to rise.

Iraqi officials declared victory over ISIS in Diyala more than a year ago, after security forces and Shiite militias drove them out of towns and villages there. But the insurgents have remained active and militia elements have been accused of abuses against Sunni residents.

The fight against ISIS has exacerbated a long-running sectarian conflict in Iraq, mostly between the Shiite majority and the Sunni minority. Bombings in Baquba and a nearby town in January set off a string of apparently retaliatory attacks against Sunnis.

Sectarian violence also threatens to undermine efforts by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a moderate Shiite Islamist, to dislodge the militant group from areas in the north and west that they seized in 2014.


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