Apocalypse Mieow: Iraqi troops defuse Islamic State suicide kitten

Apocalypse Mieow: Iraqi troops defuse Islamic State suicide kitten
Great furballs of fire! An Iraqi militia has faced a new feline foe - a cat strapped with explosives used by IS militants to attack their base.
2 min read
25 Feb, 2017
The image was posted on the Twitter feed of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Units [Twitter]
An image of a kitten strapped with explosives has been circulated online by Iraqi fighters who claimed to have saved the "innocent animal" after it was used by Islamic State group militants to target their base in a sneak cat-tack. 

The image was posted by the official Twitter feed of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Units, known in Arabic as Hashid al-Shaabi.

The allegation of an IS cat-bomb follows similiar reports that surfaced in 2015 and 2016 from Fallujah and Kobane of IS fighters using livestock, including chickens and goats strapped with explosives.

The images cannot be independently verified.

The image - posted on Saturday - sheds a unique light into the militant group's distinctive relationship with kittens.

IS militants frequently appear in photos posted online playing and looking after cats. 

Some have taken the militants' obsession with cat photos as a conscious appeal to lure individuals to their group to dispel their well-founded reputation as cruel and blood-thirsty extremists.

While the use of animals to deliver explosives indicates a measure of desperation by IS, it does follow a trend by the militants to use any means necessary to deliver explosives both against military targets and civilian centres.

Recent reports emerged of IS militants using both children and adults with mental impairments unknowingly carrying back-packs filled with explosives.

IS has used hundreds of suicide car bomb attacks in the past year to defend what remains of their territory in the Mosul area.