Policeman killed, 4 wounded in suicide bombing in Diyala

Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack. Archival photo.

Diyala ( One policeman was killed and four others were wounded Monday when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a checkpoint in Khales, Diyala.

A statement by the the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said the forces foiled a wider-scale attack after they discovered the approaching suicide attacker and chased him away before he blew up himself.

Despite the casualties, the statement praised what it described as “vigilance” and “improved performance” which the foiling of the attack reflected.

Violence surged in Iraq with the emergence of Islamic State militants who took over large areas of the country in 2014. Baghdad has been witnessing almost daily bombings targeting civilians and security personnel.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) says violence in the country had left 19000 casualties in nine months of 2016.

Observers believe Islamic State have begun to escalate attacks outside the city of Mosul, where the group has been losing ground and personnel since October, so as to relieve pressure by government forces on that front and to divert attention from group losses.

While losing Mosul could be the severest blow to the group’s existence in Iraq, some observers believe attacks outside the province prove that the extremist group can still pose a security threat.

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