Iraq football pitch blasts kill four
Some of the football players were believed to be among the casualties
Bombs went off during a local football game in Iraq’s restive Diyala province on Monday, killing at least four people, security officials said.
“Three improvised explosive devices went off during the final of a local amateur cup” in Abu Saida, about 75 kilometres (45 miles) northeast of Baghdad, a colonel in the provincial operations command told AFP.
Provincial council member Ahmed Rubaye and hospital sources in the governorate’s capital Baquba said at least 10 people were also wounded in the attack.
Some of the football players were believed to be among the casualties.
“The bombs were planted behind a goal and it seems they were detonated remotely from a nearby orchard,” said a spectator who was at the football field at the time of the attack and asked to remain anonymous.
“The blasts sparked mayhem, they have imposed a curfew now,” he said.
The area is mostly under the control of the Badr and Asaib Ahl al-Haq Shiite militias.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but the Islamic State jihadist group has carried out a string of deadly bombings in Diyala lately.
Earlier this month, one of the group’s suicide bomber blew up a vehicle packed with three tonnes of explosives in the middle of a crowded market area in the Diyala town of Khan Bani Saad.
More than 100 people were killed in the attack, which came on the eve of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and was one of the deadliest such bombings in Iraq’s bloody history.