Islamic State preparing for massive attacks in Iraq: sources

A picture shows Islamic State military doing a military exercise

Baghdad ( Islamic State militants are preparing for massive attacks in Iraq by the end of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, security sources were quoted saying on Saturday.

Baghdad Today website quoted a security source saying that the attacks are planned before the end of the holy fasting month, which finishes by next Friday with Eid al-Fitr (breakfast feast).

The source said authorities in Babil province have intensified their security measures learning of potential attacks by Daesh targeting central and southern Iraq province. He said the militants dub the scheme “Ghazwat Badr” (Badr Raid), the name of the earliest Prophet  Mohammed-era military encounters with the Jews of Makkah.

According to the source, security was tightened at places of worship and public venues, while a campaign of arrests was launched for suspects.

Supporting the reports, London-based al-Quds al-Arabi quoted an Iraqi intelligence source saying that dormant cells affiliated with the extremist group were planning attacks by suicide bombers and explosive vehicles at commercial centers and other public places during Ramadan or Eid al-Fitr.

He said security authorities have launched a campaign of arrests, intensified searches at parking areas and deployed more informants at public venues to preempt potential attacks, adding that the group still imposes a security threat to the country, especially for Shia communities in the capital, Baghdad.

Iraq declared the recapture of all territories held by Islamic State militants late 2017, but the militants have continued to target security forces and civilians at more than one occasion.

The United Nations says more than 8000 Iraqis were either killed or wounded in violence and armed conflicts throughout 2017.

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