IS group claims responsibility for Baghdad bombings that killed at least 18

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BAGHDAD — The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a pair of suicide bombings Saturday in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, which killed at least 18 people, according to a monitoring group that tracks Islamic militants.

The claim was posted on Twitter by IS sympathizers and reported by the SITE group, which monitors extremist websites and message boards.

Both bombings targeted Shiite majority neighborhoods in the capital. The larger attack took place in the Kadhimiya neighborhood, where police said a suicide bomber set off his explosives-laden vest at an Iraqi police checkpoint. At least 11 people were killed in the attack, including at least four civilians, while more than 36 people were wounded.

In the second attack, police said a suicide bomber tore through a busy street in Baghdad's al-Horreya district, killing seven people and wounding 25.

A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

The Islamic State group, which controls about a third of Iraq and Syria, regularly targets Iraqi security forces and the country's Shiite majority.

Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj in Baghdad contributed to this report.

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