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Baghdad car bomb claimed by Islamic State kills 55

February 16, 2017 (Photo Credit: Ali Abdul Hassan/AP)
BAGHDAD — A car bomb at a Baghdad auto dealership killed at least 55 people and wounded more than 60 on Thursday, Iraqi officials said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan confirmed the toll from the attack, which took place in the mainly Shiite al-Bayaa neighborhood.

The Islamic State group claimed the bombing in an online statement circulated by its Aamaq news agency. The Sunni extremist group said it was targeting Shiites.

The extremist group has carried out near-daily attacks in Baghdad despite suffering military setbacks elsewhere in the country, including in the northern city of Mosul, where U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have been waging a major operation since October.

The U.S. State Department condemned the attack at the car dealership, saying such attacks show the extremist group's "utter contempt for human life and its efforts to sow discord and division among the Iraqi people."

Another four attacks in and around Baghdad on Thursday killed eight people and wounded around 30, police and medical officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj contributed to this report.
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