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ISIS suicide attack on Iraqi soccer match purportedly captured in Facebook video
This video may be disturbing to some viewers.
This article contains video footage that purportedly depicts a deadly attack.
ISIS militants claimed responsibility for the attack, which also reportedly injured 71 people, through its affiliated news agency, Al Amaq.
A crowd gathered in Iskandariya, a town 25 miles south of Baghdad, for a game sponsored by the Shi’a group Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AHH), the New York Times reports. AHH is an Iraqi paramilitary group which, in addition to past attacks against American forces, has been actively fighting the Islamic State both in Iraq and on the Syrian front.
“I was maybe 50 meters from the spot. The blast was extremely loud,” Haidar Kadhem, 20, told AFP.
“Most of the crowd were young people, I could see them strewn across the field, some dead, others wounded asking for help,” he added. “It was just chaos.”
The mayor of Iskandariya was also killed in the attack, according to the Times.
A video, which was also uploaded to YouTube, appears to show a group of adults and children at a soccer award ceremony. At the center of the gathering sits a table holding a number of trophies. A local police official told Israeli news service i24news that awards were being handed out when an “explosive belt” was detonated.
The video cuts out moments after a visible blast appears in the left side of the frame. An explosion could be heard in the Facebook version of the video, which has since been removed.
While the video appears to be genuine, the Daily Dot was not able to immediately confirm its authenticity.
This video may be disturbing for some viewers.
The Iskandariya bombing follows multiple attacks carried out by ISIS militants in Brussels on Tuesday, March 22. The bombings at an airport and nearby subway station killed 31 and injured more than 200. ISIS also claimed responsibility for an attack in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 19 that killed at least five people and injured more than 30 others.
Screenshots via YouTube | Remix by Dell Cameron
Dell Cameron was a reporter at the Daily Dot who covered security and politics. In 2015, he revealed the existence of an American hacker on the U.S. government's terrorist watchlist. He is a co-author of the Sabu Files, an award-nominated investigation into the FBI's use of cyber-informants. He became a staff writer at Gizmodo in 2017.