Officials raise death toll in Baghdad blasts to 31

HAMZA HENDAWI QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA Associated Press Published:

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Security and hospital officials say the death toll from a series of explosions at a campaign rally for a militant Shiite group in Iraq's capital has risen to at least 31.

The officials say more than 30 people were also wounded in the attack Friday on a rally for the Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq group at a sports stadium in eastern Baghdad.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to brief the media.

An al-Qaida breakaway group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, claimed responsibility for the attack. It said in a statement posted on a militant website that the bombings aimed to avenge what it called the killing of Sunnis by Shiite militias.

The authenticity of the claim could not be independently verified.