7 tribal fighters killed in Islamic State attack in Baqubah

Diyala ( Seven fighters from the Sunni al-Hashd al-Ashaeri (Tribal Mobilization Units) were killed Monday in an attack by Islamic State militants in Diyala’s city of Baqubah, Alsumaria News quoted a security source as saying.

The attack targeted a security checkpoint run by the militia near al-Bohamad village, the source said. Police forces cordoned the area off following the incident, the source added.

Iraqi government forces and US-led international troops have been fighting Islamic State militants since October in a major campaign to eliminate the group which captured several Iraqi cities in 2014 but is currently receding in influence under pressure from security operations.

Since the emergence of IS, violence surged Across Iraq, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq said in December that violence in the country during 2016 left more than 12000 dead and more than 14000 wounded. According to the organization, those dead included 6.492 civilians and 5.546 military personnel. Deaths and injuries occurred in Baghdad, Salahuddin, Nineveh, Kirkuk, Anbar and Diyala, UNAMI said, adding that they occurred during military operations against Islamic State as well as in shootings, bombings and suicide attacks.

Some observers believe Islamic State militants now tend to carry out violent attacks in various provinces to divert attention from Mosul, where they struggle to defend their last bastion in Iraq against advancing Iraqi government and popular forces.

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