Triple sui­cide at­tack north of Baghdad kills 11 troops

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Si­nan Sala­hed­din

A triple sui­cide bomb­ing against a se­cu­rity check point north of Baghdad on Satur­day killed at least 11 mem­bers of the se­cu­rity forces, a po­lice of­fi­cer said.

The spokesman for the Salahud­din prov­ince po­lice force, Col. Mo­hammed al-Jabouri, said three mil­i­tants rammed their ex­plo­sives-laden ve­hi­cles early Satur­day morn­ing into the main check point near the town of alSalam at the prov­ince’s north­ern en­trance. Al-Jabouri added that 34 other se­cu­rity of­fi­cers were wounded.

He said the at­tack oc­curred as the lo­cal po­lice chief and head of the pro­vin­cial se­cu­rity com­mit­tee were vis­it­ing the site. Both es­caped un­harmed.

Al­most at the same time, an­other group of mil­i­tants on foot at­tacked a check point at the eastern edge of the prov­ince, killing four po­lice­men and wound­ing two oth­ers, he added. One mil­i­tant was killed in that at­tack, while the oth­ers fled the scene, he said.

The gover­nor of Salahud­din prov­ince, Ahmed al-Jabouri, ac­cused the Is­lamic State group of be­ing be­hind the at­tacks, vow­ing to “re­tal­i­ate for the mar­tyrs by chop­ping off the heads of Daesh” mil­i­tants, us­ing the Ara­bic acro­nym for the group. AlJabouri called on se­cu­rity forces to re­view their plans and on res­i­dents to co­op­er­ate with the authorities.

No group has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tacks, but IS mil­i­tants have claimed mul­ti­ple sim­i­lar at­tacks. The Sunni ex­trem­ists fre­quently launch at­tacks tar­get­ing Iraq’s se­cu­rity forces and civil­ians in pub­lic ar­eas. The group stepped up at­tacks in re­cent months as it has lost ter­ri­tory in north­ern and western Iraq that it had cap­tured in 2014.

In April 2015, Iraqi se­cu­rity forces drove out Is­lamic State mil­i­tants from the Salahud­din pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal, Tikrit, about 80 miles (130 kilo­me­ters) north of Baghdad. The at­tack came days af­ter gov­ern­ment forces re­cap­tured the town of Shirqat, north of Tikrit, from IS mil­i­tants.

Backed by the U.S.-led in­ter­na­tional coali­tion and para­mil­i­tary forces, the Iraqi gov­ern­ment is gear­ing up for a ma­jor mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion to dis­lodge the mil­i­tants from the city of Mo­sul. The city, about 360 kilo­me­ters (225 miles) north­west of Baghdad, is the last ma­jor IS urban strong­hold in Iraq.

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