Car bomb kills at least 5 in Iraq town of Khalis

Iraqi Shiite fighters patrol on February 2, 2015 around the town of Khalis, in Diyala province (AFP Photo/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

Baghdad (AFP) - A car bomb blast claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group killed at least five people in the Iraqi town of Khalis on Tuesday, officials said.

The blast, which the top provincial official in Khalis said occurred outside a reputed local doctor's house, also left at least 11 wounded.

The IS group said in a claim posted on jihadist forums that the explosion targeted members of Hashed al-Shaabi, an umbrella organisation for mostly Shiite militias which has been playing a leading role in the anti-IS fightback.

Khalis lies around 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Baghdad in Diyala, a province which the government declared free of IS militants in January.

The jihadists no longer have fixed positions there but have reverted to their old tactics of planting car bombs, carrying out suicide operations or hit-and-run attacks.