Suicide bombers kill at least 15 Iraqis at army base
At least 15 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed yesterday as militants from Isil launched five suicide bombings at a former US base outside the city of Tikrit.
Officials said that two of the bombers detonated their vehicle-borne explosives at the western gate of Camp Speicher, a former US base. Three other militants detonated their explosives in a training area.
"Under the cover of fog, they broke into Speicher," said Mahmud al-Sorchi, spokesman for the paramilitary force being set up to take back the Isil-held province of Nineveh.
Nineteen months after Isil's lightning sweep across Iraq, Camp Speicher's name is synonymous with one of the militants' most brutal massacres. After capturing the base in June last year, Isil murdered as many as 1,700 soldiers.
Footage showed young army conscripts falling off the back of trucks and later lying ready for execution in pits or at the edge of the Tigris River. At times, the water ran red with blood.
The attacks took place as Iraqi troops moved cautiously through the suburbs of Ramadi, looking for remaining Isil members who held the city for seven months. Isil remnants there have unleashed a series of car bombs in recent days.
"The majority of these are outside downtown Ramadi to the north and east," said Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led anti-Isil coalition.
Although the US official said government forces repelled every attack, Iraqi officials have said there were casualties among the troops.