Karbala (IraqiNews.com) An army soldier was killed when a car bombing targeted a checkpoint west of the holy city of Karbala, the army’s area command said.
Central Euphrates Command said three Islamic State militants driving a booby-trapped vehicle blew themselves up, killing one soldier at Maamal al-Isment (cement factory) on the road between Karbala and Anbar provinces.
Dijlah TV correspondent said gun fights flared between security troops and militants after the explosion.
Karbala province’s local council chairman Nassif al-Khattabi, told NRT that several Islamic State cells had stationed in Anbar’s desert areas, using the region as a launching point for attacks on Karbala’s western borders.
Iraqi military commands have recently reported occasional offensives on Anbar’s desert. The Iraqi government is yet to officially launch offensives to clear IS from the towns of Annah, Rawa, and Qaim, on Anbar’s western borders with Syria.
Islamic State members have escalated attacks against civilians and security forces at areas recaptured by government troops and allied paramilitary forces over the past years. The attacks and counterattacks from security troops left hundreds of personnel, civilians and militants dead.
Government troops managed early July to recapture the group’s largest stronghold, Mosul, after more than eight months of U.S. backed offensives.