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Iraqi army repulses ISIL attack on Baghdad district
February 29, 2016, 7:28 pm

The Islamic State said its fighters had carried out the deadly dual suicide bombings in Sadr City on Sunday [Xinhua]

The Islamic State said its fighters had carried out the deadly dual suicide bombings in Sadr City on Sunday [Xinhua]

Iraqi security forces say they have repelled a surprise attack from the Islamic State in the Western suburbs of the capital Baghdad.

A number of suicide bombers and heavily armed fighters infiltrated the Abu Ghraib district of Baghdad on Sunday and killed at 17 security forces, officials said, before a counterattack drove them back.

Heavy fighting was reported late on Sunday and by Monday afternoon security forces appear to have repulsed the surprise attack, which is believed to have come from the neighboring province of Anbar, still controlled by ISIL fighters.

The interior ministry said it had used counter-terrorism forces and helicopters in its operations, adding that at least 20 ISIL fighters had been killed.

The mop-up operations on the outskirts of the capital came as a suicide bomber killed at least 17 people and wounded 41 at a Shia funeral in the eastern province of Diyala on Monday.

This followed an attack by suicide bombers riding motorcycles, which killed at least 78 people and wounded another 250 in the district of Sadr City on Sunday.

ISIL issued a communique taking responsibility for the Sadr City bombings.

On Friday, ISIL said that its suicide bombers killed and injured dozens outside a mosque in Sadr City.

Security analysts fear that the Iraqi army’s successful liberation of Anbar capital Ramadi in December has failed to deter ISIL from carrying out deadly attacks on military barracks, the police and civilians.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al Abadi has pledged that the army and security forces will eject the Islamic State from Iraq in 2016, but that can’t happen until Mosul, the country’s second largest city with a civilian population of one million is first liberated.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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