Shiite Muslim pilgrims walk on a road on the southern outskirts of Baghdad towards the holy city of Karbala ahead of the Arbaeen religious festival.
Shiite Muslim pilgrims walk on a road on the southern outskirts of Baghdad towards the holy city of Karbala ahead of the Arbaeen religious festival.


Irbil, Iraq – A suicide bomber killed six people in the Iraqi town of Ain Al-Tamur, but authorities killed another five would-be attackers and prevented them from detonating their devices.

ISIS’ media wing, Amaq, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Amaq said the attackers clashed with security forces for several hours, later detonating their suicide vests, targeting Iraqi security forces. CNN could not independently verify the claim.

While security forces were successful in stopping five of the bombers, one managed to enter a house and detonate his vest, killing six people and injuring six more.

Ain Al-Tamur is a small historical town about 45 km (28 miles) west of Karbala. It’s famous for its springs and some ruins, according to Lt. Ali Qassim, a police official there.

It is predominately Shiite village and in August was again a target for ISIS attacks that killed more than 18 people, Qasim added.

Mass gathering

Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims amass in Karbala for al-Arbaeen, which commemorates the end of a 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

He died in battle in the 7th century, and is buried in Karbala, about 60 miles southwest of Baghdad. Karbala’s main holy site is the gold-domed Imam Hussein Shrine.

Tried and tested strategy

Suicide bombs have long been an ISIS modus operandi. Two days ago, a suicide bomb attack killed at least 52 people and injured more than 100 others during a religious ceremony in the Lasbela district of Balochistan, according to local law enforcement.

Again through its media wing Amaq, ISIS claimed responsibility for the Saturnday evening blast on a Sufi shrine, 120 miles from Karachi.

In September, three separate attacks on one day in Baghdad killed at least 15 people.

It is also a common strategy in the group’s defense of the city of Mosul, which it has occupied since 2014. The city is the subject of a concerted push by Iraqi forces to liberate it from the jihadists.

Mosul: Gains made

On Sunday, Iraqi forces liberated the village of Nimrud and the site of the ruins as part of the ongoing battle for Mosul, ISIS’ last major stronghold in Iraq, according to Col. Mohammed Ibrahim, a spokesman for Iraq’s Joint operations command.

ISIS is fortifying positions in eastern Mosul, digging new trenches, building berms and erecting walls and barriers on major roads, witnesses and residents tell CNN. They say the terror group has also rigged farm equipment with explosives and hid them in residential areas of several neighborhoods.

Intense clashes between ISIS and Iraqi forces lasted for several hours Sunday in the eastern neighborhood of Al Intisar, residents there say.

Iraqi forces have been slowly battling their way towards the center of Mosul, encountering fierce resistance. In the Al Zahraa neighborhood they are using abandoned cars left behind by fleeing citizens to block roads against ISIS car bombs.

Much-needed food supplies arrived in parts of Mosul Sunday. CNN saw 20 trucks with white flags and carrying World Food Program boxes at the eastern entrance of the city. Other witnesses saw food and first aid supplies arrive in Al Zahraa.

As reported by CNN