The Latest: Suicide attack south of Iraqi capital kill 21

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The Latest on developments concerning Iraq (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Police and medical officials say a suicide attacker has blown himself up in a market south of the capital Baghdad killing at least 21 people.

The officials said the Friday morning blast in the village of Musayyib also wounded 30. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The blast came hours after a bomb exploded in the Shiite holy city of Karbala near Mussayyib wounding five people.

Explosions are common in Iraq and have killed hundreds of people this year alone.

The Islamic State group usually claims responsibility for such blasts.

By Bassem Mroue


12:40 a.m.

Several rights organizations are warning that large numbers of civilians are being killed and injured in western Mosul because Iraqi and U.S.-backed coalition forces are relying on the use of heavy weapons.

The forces are working to push Islamic State group militants from the city.

Heavy ordnance, such as 500-pound (227-kilogram) air-delivered bombs, are causing excessive and disproportionate damage to civilian life and property, which is prohibited under international humanitarian law, organizations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Center for Civilians in Conflict warned.

Their report was released Thursday.


11:25 a.m.

Turkey is criticizing Iraqi Kurdish officials' decision to hold a referendum in Iraq's autonomous northern region, calling it "a grave mistake."

In a statement released Friday, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Iraq's territorial integrity was a "precondition" for lasting stability for the country and called on Iraqi Kurds to be part of efforts to strengthen Iraq's unity.

This week, Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, announced plans for a referendum on Sept. 25 on whether to secede from Iraq. The vote would be held in three governorates that make up the Kurdish region and in the areas that are disputed by the Kurdish and Iraqi governments.

Turkey, which is battling a Kurdish insurgency on its territory, is strongly opposed to moves toward Kurdish independence.