ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two separate bombings on Friday in the disputed district of Khanaqin, located in the Iraqi province of Diyala, resulted in the deaths of two civilians. This brings the week's death toll in the area from attacks suspected to have been carried out by Islamic State sleeper cells to four.
A security source from the area told Kurdistan 24 that the first incident occurring in the village of Mekhas killed a teacher. The second attack took place in Yousif Bag and caused the death of an elderly resident of the village.
Due partially to the remoteness of the attacks, further details from the two bombings were not immediately known. The Islamic State has yet to take responsibility for the attacks.
On Monday, armed gunmen suspected of being members of the extremist group attacked the villages of Ahmed-Taher and Habib, also in Khanaqin district, killing two Kurdish civilians.
According to a local official, militants shot one male and then his father, who had rushed to the scene in an attempt to rescue his son.
A tribal leader said that the incident marks an alarming deterioration of the security situation in the region. Many families in rural areas disputed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central Iraqi government have taken to deserting their homes in fear of such attacks.
Although Iraq declared a military defeat against the Islamic State in December 2017, the terrorist group remains active in many areas liberated from its former rule and even places it never controlled such as the nation’s capital of Baghdad.
Editing by John J. Catherine