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HILLA, Iraq (AP) -- A car bomb tore through a gas station south of Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 56 people, including 20 Iranians, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.
Police and hospital officials confirmed the toll and said another 45 people were wounded in the attack, which almost completely destroyed the gas station, several nearby stores and set several cars on fire. The station is located on a major highway.
The blast knocked out power at the station, forcing relatives looking for the remains of loved ones to use the glare of their mobile phones to guide them. Body parts that remained unclaimed were gathered in a blue bag and placed on the sidewalk outside the station. Large sections of the station were covered in blood.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency as saying that 80 people were killed, including 40 Iranians. Conflicting death tolls are common in the aftermath of large attacks.
The Islamic State group claimed the attack in a brief statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it was a suicide truck bomb.