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An Explosion Near Kirkuk Killed At Least 9 Iraqi Police Officers

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An Explosion Near Kirkuk Killed At Least 9 Iraqi Police Officers

(CTN NEWS) – KIRKUK – According to two security sources, at least nine Iraqi federal policemen were murdered on Sunday when a bomb exploded in their convoy southwest of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

According to the source, the explosion happened close to Safra town, located around 30 kilometers southwest of Kirkuk. The source also stated that two additional officers were badly injured.

According to a statement from his office, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has ordered a search for the “terrorist elements” responsible for the incident and sent the federal police commander to the region for more inquiry.

An Explosion Near Kirkuk Killed At Least 9 Iraqi Police Officers

Mourners in Najaf, Iraq, carry the coffin of a policeman killed in an attack in Kirkuk on December 18, 2022 [REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani]

The Islamic State (IS) is active in the region, although no one has claimed responsibility.

The police unit that was patrolling the region was targeted by IS militants, according to Iraqi police personnel, who used roadside bombs in the attack.

Under the condition of anonymity, a federal police officer who linked the attack to the IS told AFP that a truck carrying the men was the initial target of a bomb blast.

He continued, “A direct attack with small guns” then occurred close to the settlement of Chalal al-Matar.

The officer said the attack injured two cops and added, “An attacker has been killed and we are looking for the others.”

Seven police, including one officer, were slain in the incident, according to a Ministry of Interior official in Baghdad.

An Explosion Near Kirkuk Killed At Least 9 Iraqi Police Officers

A wounded Iraqi cop during a protest at the entrance to giant Zubair oilfield near Basra, July 17.— Reuters

The IS conquered huge portions of Iraqi and Syrian territory starting in 2014, establishing a harsh “caliphate,” which they oversaw until being routed by Iraqi forces supported by a US-led military coalition in late 2017.

IS lost its final stronghold in Syria, close to the Iraqi border, in 2019.

Although the US-led anti-IS coalition stopped conducting combat operations in Iraq in December of last year, about 2,500 American soldiers are still stationed there as trainers.

However, there are still active IS relics in several Iraqi provinces.

Security forces in Baghdad are still engaged in counterterrorism operations against the organisation, and it is frequently reported that airstrikes and raids have resulted in the deaths of IS fighters.

According to a UN report published earlier this year, the IS may still draw on an underground network of between 6,000 and 10,000 fighters to carry out attacks on both sides of the porous Iraqi-Syrian border.

An Explosion Near Kirkuk Killed At Least 9 Iraqi Police Officers

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Despite the losses that have reduced the organization to a ghost of its former self.

Three Iraqi troops were killed on Wednesday in the countryside north of Baghdad when a roadside bomb struck a military vehicle.

The blast in a location where IS sleeper cells are known to congregate was not immediately claimed.

Four troops were murdered last month in a machine gun attack on a remote military outpost in northern Iraq, according to a military source. No one immediately took the blame.

The first such attack in the city in more than three years occurred in January 2021 when two suicide bombers attacked a market in Baghdad, killing 32 people. IS immediately claimed credit for the attack.

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