ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An attack on a village in a central Iraqi province on Wednesday led to seven casualties, according to the country’s interior ministry.
The incident occurred in al-Mazari’ Village in Salahuddin Province, some about 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from the capital of Baghdad.
The Iraqi security communications center, Security Media Cell (SMC), described the incident as a “terrorist attack,” and said it led to the deaths of four civilians and three injuries.
The statement added they would later release more details on the nature of the attack. No group is yet to take responsibility for the incident but the area is located in a region where the Islamic State’s sleeper cells remain active.
Members of the group use barren straits of land north and northwest of said area as hideouts, on which Iraqi security forces have previously launched clearing operations.
Sleeper cells send out armed members to nearby areas to replenish supplies by threatening and assaulting towns and villages with little to no security presence. On occasion, residents of such locations flee their homes altogether, fearing recurring attacks.
The group’s operations against security forces remain just as firm. In another incident that expert sources said bore the hallmarks of sleeper cells of the terrorist organization, as yet unidentified gunmen killed three police officers and injured another late Monday.
The incident took place near the village of Klor, which is part of Kirkuk Province’s Pirde (Altun Kupri) subdistrict, the center of which is a town of the same name that lies on the strategic road connecting the Kirkuk and Erbil provinces.
Klor is located only a few kilometers from territory that was once controlled by the Islamic State, which continues to carry out sporadic insurgency-style attacks, especially in areas it once controlled, over a year after the collapse of their so-called caliphate in Iraq.
Editing by Nadia Riva