Security forces kill 6 suicide bombers, foil attempt to attack polling centers

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-12 03:17:17|Editor: yan
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TIKRIT, Iraq, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces Friday killed six suicide bombers, who attempted to carry out attacks on polling centers during the parliamentary election slated for Saturday, near Salahudin's provincial capital Tikrit, a provincial security source said.

"Six suicide bombers wearing explosive belts were killed when a joint force from Iraqi army police and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi carried out an operation on their hideout in Rufai'at area, some 80 km southwest of Tikrit," Major Ra'id Salih al-Obiedi from Tikrit police told Xinhua.

The operation was based on intelligence reports about a group of Islamic State (IS) militants preparing for carrying out attacks on polling centers in several areas in the province, Obiedi said.

Also in the province, IS militants carried out an attack on an outpost of paramilitary Hashd Shaabi in east of the town of Dour, some 150 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, leaving two paramilitary members killed, along with two civilians who were at the scene, a local police source told Xinhua earlier in the day.

More than 24 million Iraqis are eligible to vote in the 4,148 polling centers across Iraq in the first general election since Iraq's historical victory over the IS militant group last December.

The predominately Sunni Arab province of Salahudin has been the scene of a major offensive by Iraqi security forces and allied Hashd Shaabi units to drive out Islamic State (IS) militants from the provincial key cities and towns, including its capital city Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad.

On Dec. 9, 2017, 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 in many areas in Iraq looking for safe havens. They are still capable of carrying out attacks from time to time against the security forces and civilians.