16 casualties in separate Diyala attacks, including soldiers, militants and civilians

An Iraqi security checkpoint (representational photo)

Diyala ( Sixteen Iraqis were killed and wounded in Diyala on Thursday in separate attacks and bombings in the province, according to security sources.

DPA quoted the sources saying that three Iraqi soldiers and an Islamic State fighter died during an attack by the extremist group on an army checkpoint in Hamreen Mountains, northeast of Baqubah.

Two civilians were also killed and six others were wounded when an explosive device went off in a commercial area in Bahzar, south of Baqubah.

Sources also told the agency that gunmen attacked another police checkpoint in Hadid area early Thursday, killing a police captain and wounding another.

Google Maps view of the city of Baqubah (highlighted in red), in Diyala Province.

Violence and armed conflicts claimed the lives of 317 Iraqis and caused injuries to 403 others during the month of April, according to a monthly United Nations count.

Islamic State, almost losing its main holdout in Mosul to a security operation running since October, has been escalating attacks at other provinces where it still has a presence.

Government and tribal forces have launched occasional operations over the past few months to clear border regions between Diyala and Salahuddin, killing dozens of militants. IS fighters have also responded with occasional attacks targeting troops, leaving several deaths.

Officials from towns still held by IS since 2014 have pressed the Iraqi government to hasten with security operations to retake those regions, but the Iraqi government is giving most attention to its battle in Mosul, Islamic State’s largest stronghold in Iraq.


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