Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – Two paramilitary fighters were killed Saturday in a bomb blast in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a security source was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Almaalomah news website, the source said that an explosive charge targeted a patrol of the 47th brigade of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Jurf Al Nasr area, southwest of Baghdad.
“The explosion left two PMF members dead,” the source said, adding that their bodies were moved to the forensic medicine department.
Popular Mobilization Forces, an alliance of volunteer Shia paramilitary forces, have actively backed the Iraqi government’s military campaign against Islamic State since 2014, when they were formed upon a top Shia clergy edict to counter the Sunni Jihadist group.
PMF won official recognition as a national force late 2016, becoming under the command of the prime minister, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.
Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over five million internally displaced persons across Iraq and left more than 11 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.