Samarra (IraqiNews.com) Two Iraqi policemen were killed and three paramilitary fighters were wounded Tuesday when two Islamic State suicide bombers attacked their checkpoint in Samarra, south of Salahuddin.
The Salahuddin Operations Command said police imposed a brief curfew at the area following the attack. It said an earlier attack by five bombers targeted another checkpoint north of Samarra, but left no casualties.
Islamic State militants have intensified attacks targeting government and paramilitary forces at Salahuddin and neighboring Diyala over the past few months.
On Monday, Iraqi army commanders said army forces killed 30 Islamic State members and took over a command center on the borders between Anbar and Salahuddin provinces.
Borders conjoining Anbar, Salahuddin and Diyala have witnessed occasional attacks by Islamic State against government and paramilitary troops deployments since Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and PMus, launched a major offensive to retake areas occupied by IS since 2014, most notably the city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the group’s most important stronghold in the country.
Observers have said Islamic State’s occasional attacks against security and civilians outside Mosul aimed at distracting security attention from the Mosul front. IS still holds a few areas in Salahuddin, Diyala, Anbar and Kirkuk, but the Iraqi government, employing most of its military power in the Mosul campaign, is expected to aim at those strongholds once the battle in Mosul realizes victory.
Iraqi generals say IS militants currently control less than seven percent of Iraqi territory.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq says violence in Iraq left 720 people dead and wounded in April.