Four killed in Iraq's Diyala in attacks blamed on IS

Four killed in Iraq's Diyala in attacks blamed on IS
Local authorities have urged Prime Minister Kadhimi to step up security in Diyala province amid a spate of attacks blamed on IS.
2 min read
24 April, 2021
Iraq reclaimed its territory from IS in 2017 but sporadic attacks continue [Getty]
At least four people were killed on Friday in attacks Iraqi security forces have blamed on the Islamic State extremist group.

Two police officers and a civilian were killed on Friday morning in a double bombing in the northeastern Iraqi province of Diyala, the Iraqi military said.

Another four people were injured in the attack.

Later on Friday, another civilian was shot dead and a security officer was wounded when militants opened fire on Iraqi security forces in Diyala.

Iraqi armed forces also detonated an explosive device found in the northeast of the governorate on Saturday.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the Friday attacks but IS claimed responsibility for four attacks in the province earlier this month. 

Iraqi researcher Raad Al-Hashem said that the higher incidence of attacks in Diyala was due to the province's proximity to Iran.

International coalition planes do not fly in this area due to this proximity, Hashem told The New Arab's Arabic-language service, giving IS militants space to hide out in the border zone.

Police officials have said some of the recent attacks in the province bear the hallmarks of pro-Iran Shia sectarian militias, however.

Local politicians in Diyala are calling on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to improve security amid the spate of attacks.

"The people are waiting for you to stop the bloodshed, protect their children, their province, and the whole of their country," local MP Riad al-Tamimi said in a letter to the premier on Friday.

"Diyala sheds blood every day... the people of the province can tolerate this no more," he added

Speaking to The New Arab's Arabic-language service, a local tribal leader expressed concerns residents would soon begin to flee the province if the situation was not brought under control.

Muhammad al-Tai of the eastern city of Muqdadiya described security forces in Diyala as corrupt and weak, and called for the government to review their situation.

Iraq formally declared victory over IS in 2017 after reclaiming all the territory once occupied by the extremist group. Sporadic attacks by militants are ongoing, however.

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