IS ambushes Iraqi Shiite-led force, killing 27 fighters

Mourners carry the flag-draped coffin of Ismail Mahmoud, 24, a fighter of the Popular Mobilization Forces, who was killed Sunday in an attack southwest of the northern city of Kirkuk, during his funeral in Najaf, Iraq, Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Officials said Monday that Islamic State militants ambushed the group of Iraq's Shiite-led paramilitary fighters, killing Mahmoud and at least 26 others, more than two months after Baghdad declared victory over the extremist group. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

Islamic State militants ambush Iraq's Shiite-led paramilitary force, killing at least 27 fighters

BAGHDAD — Islamic State militants ambushed a group of Iraq's Shiite-led paramilitary fighters, killing at least 27 more than two months after Baghdad declared victory over the extremist group, officials said Monday

The Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group of mostly Shiite militias, said in a statement that the attack took place southwest of the northern city of Kirkuk, where the paramilitaries were conducting overnight raids.

The attackers were disguised in army uniforms and manning a fake checkpoint, the statement said, adding that ensuing clashes lasted for at least two hours and that some of the militants were killed while others fled the area.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, an Iraqi military spokesman, blamed IS "sleeper cells" and said Iraqi forces were searching the area to find the perpetrators.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency.

Karim al-Nouri, a PMF spokesman, described the attack as a "heinous crime" and called for greater scrutiny of Iraqis returning to areas liberated from IS. He said the attackers had taken advantage of heavy rains overnight.

Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of the Badr Brigade, one of the most prominent Shiite militias, vowed "revenge."

Speaking at a military airfield in Baghdad where the bodies were being flown in, he called on security forces to be vigilant, saying "the war against terrorism is not over yet."

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office put out a statement expressing condolences to family members of those killed. It said it had issued orders to hunt down those responsible and other sleeper cells, and to investigate the incident and take any required steps.

At least 11 of the slain troops were from the southern city of Basra, where a three-day mourning period was declared.

Iraq declared victory over IS in December, after more than three years of heavy fighting. The group has been driven from all the territory it seized in the summer of 2014, but U.S. and Iraqi officials have said it is likely to continue launching insurgent-style attacks. Last month, IS launched back-to-back suicide bombings in central Baghdad, killing at least 38 people.

___

Associated Press writers Sinan Salaheddin in Baghdad and Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.

You may also like these

Bombers kill at least 6 attending Kabul funeral

Jun 3, 2017

Afghan officials says a trio of suicide bombers in Kabul have killed at least six people attending...

IS targets Iraq Embassy in Kabul; all 4 attackers...

Jul 31, 2017

IS suicide bombing targets Iraq Embassy in Kabul; hours-long gunbattle ends hours later with all 4...

US says 4 wounded in Afghan attack that killed 2...

Aug 3, 2017

US military in Afghanistan says 4 American troops wounded in same suicide bombing in south that...

The Latest: IS attack targets Afghanistan's...

Aug 25, 2017

Officials say an attack on a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul has killed at least 20 people...

US historian who spent decades in Afghanistan...

Sep 10, 2017

An American historian who spent decades in Afghanistan working to preserve the heritage of the...

About Us

The Journalist Report publishes timely news updates around the clock. We have a group of journalists around the globe to deliver the latest news around so that we can get our users connected.

Contact us: sales[at]thejournalistreport.com

Subscribe Now!