Three Iraqi police members killed in blast west of Mosul

Federal police members carry their weapons during a battle with Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily

Mosul ( Three Iraqi Federal Police members were killed in a blast that targeted their patrol in western Mosul, a security official was quoted saying Wednesday.

Rudaw quoted the Cap. Saad al-Jubouri, from the Federal Police, saying that an advanced explosive device exploded late Tuesday in a five-vehicle police patrol passing at Hakna, Zummar, west of Mosul, killing three members and wounding a fourth.

He said the road had been fully secured by the forces, suggesting that the bomb was recently planted.

On Tuesday, Shafaq News quoted a source saying that two Federal Police agents were wounded when an IED blast targeted their vehicle in Zummar.

He explained that the blast took place as troops were pulling out  from some areas they took over in October during a standoff with Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces.

A political crisis and a later military standoff erupted after Kurdistan Region held a referendum in September, the outcome of which came in favor of secession from Iraq. Iraqi forces seized Kurdish-held region, including Zummar, from Peshmerga as a result.

Thousands of Islamic State militants and Iraqi civilians were killed since Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S-led coalition, launched an offensive to clear IS-held regions, starting with Mosul in October 2016.

The campaign for Mosul lasted for more than eight months and managed to liberate the city in July.

Iraq declared a final victory over IS last Saturday.

As Iraqi forces gradually took over in Mosul, relief teams regularly ran into dead bodies of civilians buried under wrecks of homes devastated by the encounters between Iraqi forces and militants.

More than 25000 IS members were estimated to have been killed during the campaign for Mosul.

Mosul was the place from where IS supreme leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed the establishment of the group’s rule in Iraq and Syria.

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