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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 March 2019

ISIS claims deadly Iraq attack only days after Trump says group has been defeated

It was the first attack in Tal Afar since Iraqi forces retook the city from ISIS last year

Members of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) with a ISIS flag held upside-down, outside the destroyed Al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City of Mosul. AFP
Members of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) with a ISIS flag held upside-down, outside the destroyed Al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City of Mosul. AFP

ISIS on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack that rocked the former militant stronghold of Tal Afar in northern Iraq and killed two people.

"A car bomb exploded near a cafe in the Ras al-Jadah district in the centre of Tal Afar," said Abed Alaal Abbas, an official in the city some 70 kilometres (40 miles) west of Mosul.

The blast "killed two and wounded 11 other civilians", he told AFP.

Iraq's joint operations command confirmed the toll.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on the Telegram messaging application, saying the blast killed three.

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It was the first attack in Tal Afar since Iraqi forces retook the city from ISIS in August last year.

The recapture of the city, which lies between Mosul and the Syrian border, was hailed as a major victory against militants, who seized nearly one third of Iraq in a sweeping 2014 offensive.

Last week, US President Donald Trump announced a total withdrawal of US troops from Syria, declaring that Washington had succeeded in defeating ISIS and were no longer needed.

The announcement drew criticism from allies such as France and Britain who say the insurgents have not been fully beaten.

Updated: December 25, 2018 09:38 PM

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