Friday 28 April 2017

Isil militants pose as police to kill 31 in Tikrit attack

Iraqi people with security forces walk near a burnt vehicle at the site of an attack in Tikrit, Iraq. REUTERS/Stringer
Iraqi people with security forces walk near a burnt vehicle at the site of an attack in Tikrit, Iraq. REUTERS/Stringer

Dean Grey

At least 31 people were killed, including 14 police officers, and more than 40 wounded in attacks by Isil militants in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, security and medical sources said.

The militants wore police uniforms and used a police vehicle to enter the city, 175km north of Baghdad, police colonel Khalid Mahmoud said.

There were around 10 attackers, including two suicide bombers.

Isil's Amaq news agency said seven suicide fighters attacked a police position and the home of the head of the city's counter-terrorism service, who was killed. The assailants blew themselves up when they ran out of ammunition, it said.

Some 31 bodies were taken to hospital, including 14 policemen, said Nawfal Mustafa, a doctor at the city's main hospital.

The death toll rose during the morning as the bodies of civilians killed in their shops were found.

The attacks targeted a police checkpoint and the house of a police colonel, who was killed with four members of his family, officers said.

Two suicide attackers detonated their vests when surrounded by police, and three others were killed in separate clashes.

Five militants are thought to be hiding and Mr Mahmoud said Tikrit authorities had declared a curfew yesterday.

Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the morning.

A US-backed offensive is underway to dislodge Isil from the remaining districts under its control in Mosul, 225km away, the group's last major urban stronghold in Iraq.

Irish Independent

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