At least 16 people have died in an attack carried out against a café popular with young people in Balad, Irak, a city with a mostly Shiite population. The business was also the headquarters of a Real Madrid fan club, according to information from the soccer club given to EL PAÍS.
The attack, responsibility for which has already been claimed by so-called Islamic State, took place on Thursday night and also left 20 people injured, according to the fan club’s Facebook page, in a post that condemned “this cowardly terrorist act.”
According to the Reuters news agency, at least 12 of the victims died in the attack on the café and another four in a nearby market, after one of the terrorists fled the scene and detonated an explosive belt.
Three armed attackers opened fire with automatic weapons on Thursday night in the café, which is the headquarters of the Real Madrid fan club in Balad.
Two of the attackers escaped, while the third detonated the bomb he was wearing when police and Shiite militia tried to stop him, according to security service sources.
The authors of the attack managed to get past three police checkpoints before arriving at their target, according to police sources. The security forces have deployed in the area due to fears of new attacks.
English version by Simon Hunter.