5 killed in attacks in central Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-12 17:04:37|Editor: Lifang
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BAGHDAD, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- A total of five people were killed Monday and six others wounded in gunfire and bomb attacks in the Iraqi provinces of Salahudin and Diyala, officials and a security source said.

In Salahudin province, unidentified gunmen at dawn broke in a house in al-Farhatiyah area, some 30 km southwest of the city of Samarra, and shot dead three family members before they fled the scene, Colonel Mohammed Khalaf al-Jubouri from the provincial police told Xinhua.

A police force rushed to the family house in Farhatiyah, but a roadside bomb struck a police vehicle near the house, leaving a policeman killed and three others wounded along with destroying the police vehicle, Jubouri said.

In Diyala province, a civilian was killed and his wife seriously wounded when a roadside bomb struck their car near a village in north of the town of al-Udheim in north of the provincial capital city of Baquba, Mohammed al-Obeidi, head of Udheim town council, told Xinhua.

Also in Diyala, Saad Ismael, a member of al-Abbara town council and his uncle Sheikh Mahmoud al-Baiyati, a tribal leader, were wounded in the morning when three roadside bombs detonated outside Islamil's house in the town of al-Abbara in northeast of Baquba, according to Adnan al-Timimi, head of the town's council.

"It was an assassination attempt aimed at destabilizing the security situation in the town," Timimi said, accusing sleeper cells of Islamic State (IS) group of being behind the attack.

The attacks came despite repeated anti-IS military operations in the sprawling rugged areas in the eastern part of Salahudin province and extend to the neighboring Diyala province and the nearby Himreen mountainous area.

During the past few months, dozens of IS militants fled their former bases in the predominately Sunni Arab province of Salahudin, Hawijah area in west of Kirkuk, after the Iraqi forces drove out the extremist militants from these areas during anti-IS offensives in the past few months.

On Dec. 9, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the extremist group.

However, small groups and individuals of IS militants melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas looking for safe havens. They are still capable of carrying out attacks from time to time against the security forces and civilians.