Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for tougher action by the Iraqi government in countering perpetrators of terrorist attacks, after a suicide truck bomb blast at a gas station near Hilla, south of Baghdad, killed at least 100 people on Thursday, including Iranian pilgrims.
In a message on Friday, President Rouhani decried the brutal attack as sign of the deep sense of frustration that bloodthirsty terrorists feel after the magnificent Arbaeen rituals in the holy city of Karbala, attended by millions of pilgrims.
He also urged the Iraqi government to counter the cruel perpetrators of such inhumane attacks in a more decisive manner, expressing the Iranian government’s preparedness to provide medical assistance for victims of the massive blast.
The president then reaffirmed Iran’s determination to fight off terrorism and extremism.
At least 100 people have been killed and dozens wounded in the suicide truck bomb blast at a gas station near the town of Hilla, 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad, on Thursday.
At least 25 Iranians, returning from Arbaeen pilgrimage in Karbala, have been pronounced dead in the attack as of Friday morning.
Daesh (ISIL, also known as ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility for the assault.
The gas station has a restaurant on its premises that is popular with travelers. Five pilgrim buses were set afire by the blast from the explosives-laden truck, a police official said.
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said the vehicle was packed with 500 liters of ammonium nitrate, a chemical compound used in many explosive devices.