Over 40 killed as Iraqi forces battle IS

Over 40 killed as Iraqi forces battle IS

47Baghdad, Feb 28 (IANS) At least 41 people were killed and over 100 injured in Iraq Saturday, as Iraqi forces and allied militiamen clashed with Sunni jihadi group Islamic State, security sources said.

In the deadliest militant attack, three suicide car bombers backed by dozens of IS militants attacked positions of the Iraqi army and allied Shia militia in Iraq’s Salahudin province, Xinhua reported.

The attacks in the Sur-Shnas area near Samarra, 120 km north of capital Baghdad, left at least 16 militiamen and soldiers dead and over 40 wounded, according to a security source.

The blasts and the clashes that followed also killed 11 IS militants.

In a separate incident, two members of the Shia militia, known as al-Hashed al-Shaabi or “Popular Mobilisation”, were killed by IS militants near Is’haqi, 90 km north of Baghdad.

Salahudin, a predominantly Sunni province with its capital at Tikrit, 170 km north of Baghdad, used to be the home of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Also, in the eastern province of Diyala, up to 11 people were killed and over 50 wounded when two back-to-back car bombs ripped through a crowded market in Baladruz.

A civilian was also killed and five others wounded in an army bombing operation in Shamiyah, southwest of the militant-occupied city of Fallujah, 50 km west of Baghdad.

Iraq has been witnessing some of the worst incidents of terrorism in many years. At least 12,282 civilians were killed and 23,126 injured last year, making it the deadliest year since the sectarian violence during 2006-2007, according to a recent UN report.



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