Iraq suicide bombing death toll rises to 61
Officials say 8 still missing from the attack
Iraqi officials say the death toll from Sunday's suicide truck bombing south of Baghdad has climbed to 61.
A police officer said Monday that among the dead were 52 civilians, while the rest were members of the security forces. Another 95 people were injured in the attack that targeted a security checkpoint at one of the entrances to the city of Hillah, located about 95 kilometres south of Baghdad.
- ISIS bombings in Baghdad claimed 73 lives
- Radioactive material stolen in Iraq raises security concerns
The officer said that eight other people were still missing.
A medical officials confirmed casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
Hours after the attack, The Islamic State group claimed responsibility in an online statement. The Associated Press could not immediately verify the authenticity of the statement, but its language and phrasing is consistent with past IS claims of responsibility.
Iraq has seen a spike in violence in the past month, with suicide attacks claimed by ISIS killing more than 170 people. Sunday's bombing was the third massive bombing in a little over a week against security forces and the country's Shiite majority. These attacks follow a string of advances by Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, including in the western city of Ramadi.
The latest push could be seen as an attempt by IS to stage attacks deep behind the front lines in order to wreak havoc and force the government to overextend its forces. Hillah is in the country's mainly Shia south, far from the front lines of the war against ISIS.