(Reuters) More than 100 people were killed in a suicide car bombing at a busy market in an Iraqi town on Friday, in one of the deadliest attacks carried out by Islamic State militants since they overran large parts of the country.
The blast brought down several buildings in Khan Bani Saad, about 30 km (20 miles) northeast of Baghdad, crushing to death people who were celebrating the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, police and medics said.
Islamic State, which controls large parts of northern and western Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack in the mixed eastern province of Diyala where Khan Bani Saad is located and said the target was “rejectionists”, as the group refers to Shi’ite Muslims.
Angry crowds went on the rampage after the explosion, smashing the windows of cars parked in the street in grief and anger. Body parts were flung onto the roofs of nearby buildings by the force of the blast, police said.
“Some people were using vegetable boxes to collect children’s body parts,” said police major Ahmed al-Tamimi from the site of the explosion, describing the damage to the market as “devastating”.
An officer from the Diyala police command said rescue crews were still retrieving bodies from under the debris so the death toll could rise.