IS at­tacks in and around Kirkuk; US death iden­ti­fied

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Is­lamic State mil­i­tants launched a wave of pre-dawn at­tacks in and around the north­ern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Fri­day, killing at least 14 peo­ple and set­ting off fierce clashes with Kur­dish se­cu­rity forces that were still rag­ing af­ter sun­down.

The as­sault ap­peared aimed at di­vert­ing at­ten­tion from the Iraqi of­fen­sive to re­take Mo­sul, and it raised fears the ex­trem­ists could lash out in un­pre­dictable ways as they de­fend the largest city un­der their con­trol in Iraq. Ex­plo­sions rocked Kirkuk, and gun­fire rang out around the pro­vin­cial head­quar­ters, where the fight­ing was con­cen­trated. Smoke bil­lowed over the city, and the streets were largely de­serted out of fear of mil­i­tant snipers.

Mean­while, the Pen­tagon has iden­ti­fied the Amer­i­can killed in Iraq on Thurs­day as a 34-year-old Navy chief petty of­fi­cer named Ja­son C. Fi­nan of Ana­heim. He was as­signed to Ex­plo­sive Ord­nance Dis­posal Mo­bile Unit Three.

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