News Top Stories World

Baghdad: ISIL car bomb attack kills 39, wounds 57

Baghdad: ISIL car bomb attack kills 39, wounds 57

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says ISIL would be driven out of the country by April.

 

ISIL’s suicide car bomb attack killed at least 39 people and wounded 57 in an attack in Baghdad’s Sadr City district.

The bomber driving a pickup truck struck an outdoor fruit and vegetable market, hitting daily labourers and a police checkpoint, a police officer said.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed the attack via its Amaq website, stating that the “martyrdom operation” had killed around 40 people.

ISIL also claimed an attack in central Baghdad that killed at least 27 people on Saturday.

US-backed Iraqi forces are in a consistent fight with ISIL to drive them from the northern city of Mosul, the armed group’s last major stronghold in the country, but are facing fierce resistance.

The fight began on October 17. Since then, Iraqi forces have retaken a quarter of the city in the biggest ground operation in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

As clashes continued in and around Mosul, ISIL – which took the city in 2014 – also targeted on Monday military positions away from the main battlefield.

Fighters attacked an army barracks near Baiji, 180km north of Baghdad, killing four soldiers and wounding 12 people, including Sunni tribal fighters, army and police, sources said.

They seized weapons there and launched mortars at nearby Shirqat, forcing security forces to impose a curfew and close schools and offices in the town, according to local officials and security sources.

Shirqat mayor Ali Dodah said ISIL seized three checkpoints on the main road linking Baiji to Shirqat following the attacks.

Shelling in Shirqat had killed at least two children, he told Reuters news agency by phone.

Atleast, three pro-government Shia militia were also killed and seven wounded when fighters attacked their position near Udhaim with mortar rounds and machine guns, police sources said.

In a separate incident, gunmen broke into a village near Udhaim, 90km north of Baghdad, where they killed nine Sunni tribal fighters with shots to the head, police and medical sources said.