Civilian killed, 4 wounded in bomb blast northwest of Baghdad

A man looks at the site where a car packed with explosives blew up yesterday, in Hayy al-Shurta, a Shi’ite district in Baghdad, Iraq February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ali al-Mashhadani

Baghdad ( One civilian died and four others were wounded on Tuesday when a bomb blast rocked an area northwest of Baghdad, according to police sources.

Alsumaria News quoted the sources saying the explosive device was planted on the side of a road near a popular market in al-Shoala region, northwest of the capital.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has said that violence in the country lef 1115 casualties, excluding security members, during March. Baghdad was the second most affected province with 84 deaths and 246 injuries, according to the organization’s monthly casualty count.

While several blasts are not followed by a claim of responsibility, Islamic State militants said they had been behind some bloody explosions and attacks that hit the capital in the past months, leaving casualties among civilians and security troops.

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 argue that attacks outside the province prove that the extremist group can still pose a security threat for all cities.

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