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Suicide bomber kills 29 people at football match in Iraq

A suicide bomber has blown himself up at a football match in Iraq, killing 29 people and wounding 60 more on Friday.

The attack happened in the city of Iskanderiyah, which is 30 miles from Baghdad. It is believed that the Islamic State are responsible for the atrocity.

The game was being played at the al-Shuhadaa stadium in a mixed Sunni and Shia Muslim town in the Babel province.

The attacker detonated the explosives at the end of the game as people congregated to watch a trophy being handed to the victorious team’s captain.

The town’s mayor was amongst those killed.

U.N. Secretary-General for Iraq Jan Kubis condemned the attack.

“The evildoers are aiming their wrath at the innocent and vulnerable civilians,” he said.

“Today, Daesh committed yet another atrocity, targeting families who were enjoying their weekend attending a football game in their hometown. This abhorrent act deserves the strongest condemnation.”

IS fighters have been embroiled in battles with the Iraqi military and Sunni tribal fighters across the Middle Eastern country over recent months.

Iraqi ground forces have been making progress against the extremists, with IS losing a perceived 40 per cent of its occupied territory in Iraq and 20 per cent in Syria.

Suicide bombings have become a mainstay of IS military tactics, with a number of similar incidents in the region since the group’s rise to notoriety.

The latest death toll adds to the high-profile incident in Belgium last week, where over 30 people were killed and 300 injured following attacks at the airport and metro station in Brussels.

Belgium’s international friendly with Portugal this Tuesday was moved to Portugal instead of being played in Belgium as previously intended, while there are increasing security fears ahead of this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament in France.

UEFA executive committee vice-president Giancarlo Abete has stated that the tournament will go ahead as planned but the prospect of games being played behind closed doors could not be ruled out.

IS claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks in Paris in November, with an international friendly fixture between France and Germany at the Stade de France one of the venues targeted.

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