Five Iraqi troops killed during bomb disposal operation, say officials

Five Iraqi troops killed during bomb disposal operation, say officials
Five soldiers were killed when 'war remnants' exploded in a building in the city of Baiji, officials said.
1 min read
11 August, 2021
Officials said five Iraqi troops died in the explosion in Baiji, Salahaddin province [Getty]

Five Iraqi soldiers were killed during a bomb disposal operation in the northern province of Salahaddin. officials said on Wednesday.

Three members of Iraq's army, including an officer, and two members of the paramilitary Facilities Protection Force were killed after "war remnants" discovered in a building in the city of Baiji exploded, an Iraqi military official told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

A colonel was seriously injured in the explosion, the official said.

Speaking to press, Baiji mayor Mohammed Al-Jubouri gave the same death and injury numbers.

He said the explosion was the result of an error on the part of the bomb disposal technician.

While there is little data on the extent of unexploded ordnance in Iraq, some organisations estimate that it is one of the most mine-laden countries in the world.

Mines have been laid during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's, the Gulf War and after the 2003 US invasion.

The Islamic State (IS) group swept through the north and west of Iraq in 2014, seeding swathes of land with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and mines.

Iraq declared that it had territorially defeated IS in 2017, but remnants of the group are still active in parts of the country, including Salahaddin province.

According to ACAPS, a humanitarian NGO, 8.5 million people in Iraq are vulnerable to the risk of landmines and IEDs.