ISIS has claimed a suicide bombing that killed at least 18 people and injured more than 26 at a wedding party near Karbala, south of Baghdad, late on Sunday, local officials said.
Five assailants including the suicide bomber attacked the celebration in Ain al-Tamr, west of Karbala in southern Iraq, firing machine guns and throwing hand grenades, the police said.
“They were carrying Kalashnikovs, hand grenades. One of them blew himself up and the others were killed by the security forces,” said the head of central Euphrates operations command, Qais Khalaf.
A local council member and a provincial health directorate source confirmed the death toll in the attack, and said at least 26 others were wounded.
Five members of the same family were among the dead, according to a health official from Karbala province.
“The five terrorists were carrying lots of weapons and one of them blew himself up in the midst of our citizens,” said Farhan Jassem Mohammed of the local council.
“Some of them were wearing civilian clothes, others military clothes. They infiltrated from the west under the cover of darkness,” he said.
The bombing is the first in the Karbala region since Iraqi forces dislodged ISIS militants from their stronghold in Fallujah, 80 km north of the city.
The terrorist group remains in control of parts of northern and western Iraq and continues to claim bombings all over the country.
A statement on the Amaq news agency said the attack was carried out by four of its suicide fighters against a “gathering of Shi’ites.”
Initial reports in local media, citing security sources, blamed the killings on a dispute between two tribes at the wedding party.