ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two children were killed and four other family members injured on Friday during a picnic in the Makhoul Mountains, located in Iraq's northern Salahuddin Province.
“The family was from the village of al-Zawya, north of Baiji,” a security source told Alsumaria news website, which reported that the source of the deadly blast came from an improvised explosive device (IED).
The Iraqi Ministry of Health confirmed the death of the two children, the wounding of the four others, and that all six were indeed members of the same family.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion, but the Islamic State has been blamed with many such acts in the area in recent years.
In early January, during a security operation in the Makhoul Mountains, Iraqi forces discovered four tunnels and a 30-meter trench used by fighters from the Islamic State. The troops, backed by air support, destroyed them.
Friday's incident was the second deadly explosion in the area since the beginning of the year. On Jan. 8, a car bombing in the provincial capital of Tikrit resulted in three deaths and ten injuries.
Despite the passing of more than a year since Baghdad's declaration of a final victory over the Islamic State, the group continues to conduct attacks in areas it once controlled, embarking on a wave of kidnappings, assassinations, and bombings that have raised fears of a new stage of heightened insurgency.
Editing by John J. Catherine