IS target family, army in deadly northern Iraq attacks

IS target family, army in deadly northern Iraq attacks
Twelve members of the same family and four officers were killed on Saturday in suspected IS attacks in Salahuddin province, northern Iraq.
2 min read
03 June, 2018
IS are still waging a campaign of random attacks despite losing territory [Getty]
Islamic State militants killed 12 members of the same family, including women and children, in an attack on their village in northern Iraq on Saturday, an Iraqi official said.

The attack occurred the same day that four army officers were killed in an explosion in the same province, indicating that IS militants are seeking to expand their hold over the desert area.

Ammar Hekmat, the deputy governor of the Salahuddin province, confirmed the early morning attack on the family in the village of al-Farahatiyah. It was not immediately clear why the family was targeted.

Iraqi forces have driven IS from virtually all the territory it once controlled, but the group has continued carrying out sporadic attacks, mainly targeting security forces while hiding out in the desert.

"We're not sure if one of the family members was a police officer, but IS has a presence in desert areas like Salahuddin, Mosul and Diyala," an Iraqi intelligence official said. "They carry out attacks in villages outside the cities to scare families and remind them they are still there."

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Meanwhile four soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) on Saturday in the Shirqat district of Salahuddin.

"An explosive device targeted a group of soldiers as they tried to prevent a terrorist attack in the village of Hanqah in the Shirqat district north of Salahuddin, killing four soldiers," a source told local media.

Iraqi security forces liberated the district of Shirqat from IS fully last year, however the militants regularly exploit any gaps in the local security presence to undertake attacks.