Separate bombings kill 10 in Baghdad
Separate bombings in the Iraqi capital killed 10 people and wounded another 22 yesterday, according to Iraqi officials. The Baghdad attacks mainly targeted civilians and though there was no immediate claim of responsibility, they bore all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group in what are apparently efforts by militants to distract from the Iraqi forces’ major offensive in the northern city of Mosul. Mosul is Iraq’s second-largest city and the IS militant group’s last major urban bastion in the country.
The casualty toll for yesterday’s attacks was provided by police and hospital officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters. The operation to retake Mosul was launched in October and has been progressing slowly in recent weeks. Iraqi forces control less than a quarter of the city and have faced significant setbacks this week in Mosul’s southeast. Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has continued to pledge that the city will be retaken by the end of the year but has also warned that IS will likely continue to launch insurgent style attacks in Iraq even after losing control of Mosul. — AP