x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Suicide bomber dressed as woman kills 14 in Iraq displacement camp

ISIL militants, who have been facing mounting US-backed offensives in Iraq and neighbouring Syria, claimed responsibility for the Sunday assault

BAGHDAD // A suicide bomber dressed as a veiled woman has killed 14 people and wounded 13 others in a displacement camp west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, according to security sources.

ISIL militants, who have been facing mounting US-backed offensives in Iraq and neighbouring Syria, claimed responsibility for the assault, which took place on Sunday.

The camp in Iraq's western Anbar province, known as "kilo 60", houses people forced out of Sunni areas controlled by ISIL in the Euphrates river valley, the security sources said.

The militants said they had been targeting an Iraqi army position.

On Monday, meanwhile, two women suicide bombers struck Iraqi troops in Mosul's Old City, killing one soldier and wounding several others. The attackers were hiding among a group of civilians fleeing the neighbourhood, the scene of ISIL's last stand in the northern Iraqi city.

The attacks underscore the intense violence still plaguing the battered nation and the perils that will remain even after ISIL militants are pushed out of Mosul.

Using women as suicide bombers is apparently the latest tactic by the militants, Sergeant Ali Abdullah Hussein said as he returned from the front line in Mosul's Old City, his troops carrying the body of their killed comrade wrapped in a blanket.

The two women bombers "appeared from the basement [of a building] and they blew themselves up", Sgt Hussein said.

The attack happened in the area of the destroyed Al Nuri Mosque, which was the focus of the Iraqi forces' push last week.

Over the past three days, Sgt Hussein said at least four such attacks have targeted Iraqi forces as hundreds of Mosul's civilians are fleeing the battles in the Old City's congested streets.

After the explosion on Monday, another group of civilians appeared on the main road, prompting the Iraqi soldiers to immediately draw their weapons. They then yelled to the group of mostly women and children to back away and take another route out.