Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Army and police forces killed four Islamic State suicide bombers in western Anbar on Monday, according to a senior army commander.
Alsumaria quoted Qassem al-Mohammadi, commander of al-Jazeera Operations, saying that the bombers were sneaking into the town of Haditha, west of Anbar, but were killed by security forces and tribal fighters. AFP, however, quoted Haditha mayor, Khaled Salman, saying that three of the suicide bombers were trapped inside a house and killed by security, while the fourth blew himself up killing two security members.
Islamic State militants have held Anbar’s western towns of Annah, Qaim and Rawa since 2014. Fighter jets from the Iraqi army and the allied U.S.-led coalition have also regularly pounded IS locations in the province. Local officials believe Islamic State is holding thousands of civilians at its western strongholds to use them as human shields against any future security offensive.
The Iraqi government and army commanders say they will aim at IS havens in Anbar once it is finished with eliminating the group from Mosul, its biggest bastion in Iraq where a security campaign entered a seventh month to eliminate the group.
IS has escalated its attacks against army and paramilitary forces in the province over the past few months, leaving several personnel dead. Thousands of civilians are believed to be held hostage by IS in western Anbar.