Iraqi paramilitary forces allege ISIL responsibility in Pilgrim bus attack

MNA – The Iraqi paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) cast the blame for the recent attack on a pilgrim bus south of the central Iraqi city of Balad on the ISIL terror group.

On Sunday, the bus, which was carrying pilgrims to a Shia mausoleum in Balad, struck a roadside bomb south of the city. It was initially reported that some of the pilgrims were killed.

The 43rd brigade of the paramilitary forces is carrying out raids in areas neighboring Balad in a bid to seize the ISIL militants who fled the site of the incident promptly after the attack.

The PMF is an official umbrella entity reportedly composed of up to 40 various militant groups united under the aegis of Iraq’s Interior Ministry. The force was created in a bid to unite militants’ efforts to drive Daesh out of country.

Then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi issued a decree in early 2018 including the PMF into the country’s armed forces.