A suicide car bomb has claimed the lives of over 100 people on Friday at a busy market square in Khan Bani Saad, 30 km northeast of Baghdad in Diyala province.
The explosion also caused several buildings to collapse. Another 170 people are estimated to have been injured in the blast.
The Islamic State, or ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the attack. It has been one of the militants’ deadliest attacks yet.
Local police are still continuing the search efforts among the rubble and the death toll was expected to rise, one officer told Reuters. Body parts had been found spread across rooftops.
The Islamic State announced on Twitter that the suicide bomber had carried around 3 tonnes of explosives. It also said the attack was an act of revenge for the killings of Sunni Muslims in the northern town of Hawija.
Khan Bani Saad, where the suicide bombing occurred, has a large Shi’ite population. Islamic State militants refer to Shi’ite Muslims as “rejectionists”. The region is currently observing a three day mourning. Local government has ordered all places of entertainment to remain closed for security reasons.
The explosion occurred while people were celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, which is the one of the most important Muslim holidays.