At Kirkuk oil plant, ISIS targets Iraq Energy Police second time in 5 days
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Members of the so-called Islamic State on Tuesday clashed with local security forces near an oil plant located in the western part of Iraq’s disputed Kirkuk province, killing and wounding three police officers, local media reported.
“ISIS operatives launched an attack on the Khabbaz oil field in Kirkuk, near the village of Idris, killing one member of the Energy Police and wounding two others,” Shafaaq news quoted a security source as saying.
The officer killed, Wald Hamid, is a Kurd from the Tuz (Tuz Khormatu) district of Salahuddin Province, according to the website.
In a separate incident in Salahaddin Province, a roadside bomb reportedly exploded on a security forces patrol, killing two members and injuring three others. Further details were not immediately clear.
On Friday, four other members of the Energy Police, which are in charge of energy infrastructure protection in Iraq, were killed in an attack by an Islamic State suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest in the town of Baiji, northwest of Tikrit.
According to the Iraqi military communications center known as the Security Media Cell, a number of Islamic State militants launched the attack at a checkpoint near Bajji controlled by the Energy Polic.
Although Iraq declared victory over the extremist group in December 2017, it continues to launch regular attacks, including bombings, kidnappings, and ambushes against Iraqi security forces, Kurdish forces, and civilians in areas liberated from its control as well as in major cities it never took over, such as Baghdad and Kirkuk.
Recent unrest in Iraq in the form of widespread protests have slowed anti-Islamic State operations over the past three months. The terrorist group appears to have taken advantage of the situation and has carried out attacks with increasing regularity.
On Monday, Iraqi security forces announced the arrest of an alleged financier for the terrorist organization during an operation in the western Anbar Province. He was “responsible for distributing salaries and financial aid to ISIS [members] and their families” in the al-Qaim district, located near the Syrian border.
Editing by John J. Catherine