Five including Iraqi journalist killed in deadly Baghdad attacks

Five including Iraqi journalist killed in deadly Baghdad attacks
At least five, including an Iraqi journalist, were killed and dozens others wounded on Wednesday following two separate attacks near the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.
3 min read
13 July, 2016

Baghdad checkpoint bombing

Two separate attacks near the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad on Wednesday left at least five dead and dozens others wounded, officials said.

In the first attack, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a checkpoint leading to the Husseiniyah area, northeast of Baghdad, killing at least four people.

The bombing, which was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group, also wounded 21 people.

IS issued a statement saying an Iraqi carried out a suicide bombing targeting a checkpoint, but gave the location of the attack as Shaab, an area adjoining Husseiniyah.

The second attack killed an Iraqi journalist and wounded two others in the Qayyarah area to the north of Baghdad.

A roadside bomb hit the vehicle carrying the journalists in Qayyarah, said Hisham al-Baidhani, a colleague of the two wounded journalists at Iraqiya state television.

A heat-seeking missile also struck the Humvee armoured vehicle, said Muhannad al-Aqabi, the head of the media office for pro-government paramilitary forces.

The attack comes only days after Iraq announced the recapture of a key airbase from IS in the area of Qayyarah, about 60 kilometres (35 miles) south of Iraq's extremist-held second city of Mosul.

Aqabi named the slain journalist as al-Ghadeer television cameraman Ali Mahmud.

Those wounded were identified as Ali Jawad and Ali Muftin of Iraqiya state television.

The latest death comes after a photographer was killed by a mortar round in June during the battle to reclaim Fallujah from IS.

Iraq announced the recapture of the Qayyarah airbase on Saturday, which the Pentagon has said will serve as a "springboard" for retaking Mosul from the militants.

Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said on Monday an additional 560 US troops would be sent to Iraq, and a senior US officer said most of them would go to the Qayyarah base.

But while the base has been recaptured, the nearby town of Qayyarah is still held by IS.

Wednesday's blasts are the latest in a series of deadly attacks in and around Baghdad, including a bombing in a crowded shopping district on 3 July that killed 292 people, one of the deadliest ever to hit Iraq.

A few days later, militants attacked a Shia shrine in Balad, north of Baghdad, killing 40 people, and on Tuesday, a suicide bomber struck a market near the capital, killing at least seven people.

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but has since lost significant ground to Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes, training and other assistance.

The Sunni extremist group has responded to the battlefield setbacks by striking civilians, particularly Shias, and experts have warned there may be more bombings as the militants continue to lose ground.