Iraqi authorities blame Islamic State terrorists for the intelligence office assault in Kirkuk
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: iraq;
Iraq has blamed ISIS for a suicide attack on its intelligence bureau in the northern city of Kirkuk on Tuesday, when at least three security force members were wounded.
Authorities said two men – one wearing a vest rigged with explosives and the other a driver – approached the headquarters of the Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Directorate in the Qadisiyah neighbourhood by car. One of the men threw a grenade towards the building and then detonated his vest, the official said.
The other man drove away.
ISIS sleeper cells have stepped up ambushes and attacks across northern Iraq in recent weeks, killing and wounding security personnel.
Although the militant group did not claim responsibility for the attack, an Iraqi intelligence official told The Associated Press that his agency “had knowledge that Daesh would carry out a suicide operation against the intelligence directorate, but we did not know on which day”.
Iraqi forces and their international partners managed to beat back ISIS and declare military victory in 2017, although the group has continued to launch attacks across the country.
A US-led mission to eliminate ISIS from the region was established in 2014 after the group overran large parts of northern and western Iraq and proclaimed a “caliphate”.
In recent months, the US began to withdraw its troops from military bases in Iraq, including Kirkuk, in line with a plan to reduce the presence of coalition forces.
At the end of March, the US-led coalition against ISIS said it had completed the handover of the K1 Base in Kirkuk province to the Iraqi army.
Until last month, there were about 7,500 coalition troops in the country, including 5,000 US personnel.
Source: The National