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ISIS claims deadly bomb attack in central Baghdad

The fight against ISIS, which seized a third of Iraq’s territory in 2014, has exacerbated a long-running sectarian conflict in Iraq

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At least nine people were killed in Baghdad late on Monday in a car bomb attack claimed by ISIS near a hospital in a central district, police and hospital sources said.

A suicide bomber had targeted a gathering of Shiite Muslims in the Karrada district, according to a statement circulated online by the Amaq news agency, which supports the ultra-hardline militant group.

The police and hospital sources said 20 people were also wounded in the blast and they expected the death toll to rise.

The fight against ISIS, which seized a third of Iraq’s territory in 2014, has exacerbated a long-running sectarian conflict in Iraq.

The militants have lost ground in the past year to US-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Shiite militias, but such bombings show they can still strike outside the territory they control in northern and western Iraq.

Monday’s blast occurred not far from the site of an ISIS suicide attack in July that killed 324 people in one of the deadliest bombings of its sort in Iraq since US-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein 13 years ago.