BAGHDAD, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces foiled on Thursday an attack by a would-be suicide bomber affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) in the eastern province of Diyala, a provincial security source said.
The incident took place in the evening when an attacker wearing an explosive belt threw a hand grenade in a popular coffee shop in the center of the town Khanaqin, some 165 km northeast of the capital Baghdad, Ghalib al-Attiyah, spokesman for Diyala's provincial police, told Xinhua.
The blast of the hand grenade injured four civilians and the attacker himself, al-Attiyah said.
The police opened fire on and seriously wounded him when the attacker tried to flee, he added.
Despite repeated military operations in Diyala, IS remnants were still hiding in rugged areas near the border with Iran, as well as the sprawling areas extending from the western part of Diyala to Himreen mountainous area in the northern part of the province.
The security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.
IS remnants, however, have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.