Police officer killed in bomb attack in central Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-17 21:54:12|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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BAGHDAD, July 17 (Xinhua) -- A police officer was killed and three others wounded on Tuesday in a bomb explosion during an operation to hunt down Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's central province of Salahudin, local police said.

Ra'id Abdul-Ghafor, commander of a battalion from the federal police, was killed when he and other police officers were conducting a search operation near the town of Tuz-Khurmato, some 90 km east of Salahudin's provincial capital Tikrit, Salih al-Jubouri from the Salahudin police command told Xinhua.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack in the volatile area near the ethnically mixed city of Tuz-Khurmato, which is mostly made up of Turkoman Shiite as well as Kurdish and Sunni Arab population.

The key cities of Salahudin province, including the provincial capital Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, were captured by IS militants in June 2014, but the Iraqi security forces have freed the province during major anti-IS offensives.

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 IS groups and individuals regrouped in the rugged areas and are carrying out attacks against the security forces and civilians despite operations from time to time to hunt them down.