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    IS claims blast that killed 12 near Karbala

    BAGHDAD (AFP) – The Islamic State (IS) group last Saturday claimed a bomb blast that killed 12 people near the Iraqi city of Karbala the previous day.

    The blast aboard a bus at a checkpoint north of Karbala also wounded five people, according to the city’s health authorities.

    Security forces said last Saturday they had arrested a man suspected of placing the explosives on the bus before it disembarked.

    Iraq declared victory against IS in late 2017 after three years of a brutal fightback against the extremist group, which had specifically targetted gatherings. Extremist sleeper cells have continued to carry out hit-and-run attacks against government positions across the country, particularly at checkpoints.

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