ISIS Claims Suicide Bomb That Killed Nine in Central Baghdad

Baghdad coffins after attack
Iraqis carry the coffins of relatives a day after a car bomb explosion in the Karrada district of Baghdad killed nine people, September 6. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

At least nine people were killed in Baghdad late Monday in a car bomb attack claimed by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) near a hospital in a central district, police and hospital sources said.

A suicide bomber had targeted a gathering of Shi'ite Muslims in the Karrada district, according to a statement circulated online by the Amaq news agency, which supports the ultra-hardline Sunni 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 Islamic State, which seized a third of Iraq's territory in 2014, has exacerbated a long-running sectarian conflict in Iraq, mostly between the Shi'ite majority and the Sunni minority.

The militants have lost ground in the past year to U.S.-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Shi'ite 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 Islamic State suicide attack in July that killed 324 people in one of the deadliest bombings of its sort in Iraq since U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein 13 years ago.