ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A bomb exploded on an Iraqi armed forces unit trying to defuse explosives in western Nineveh province, a security source said on Saturday.
The blast occurred in a house in the al-‘Adnaniya compound in the town of al-Qahtaniya, the source told Kurdistan 24. He added that the building had been laden with the bomb during the years of ongoing battles between Iraqi forces and the so-called Islamic State.
The source stated that many houses in that area still contained explosives the terrorist organization left behind, adding that there had been casualties in the latest incident.
One witness said the blast killed at least two Iraqi soldiers.
Large swaths of territory the Islamic State once held still contain explosive ordnances.
Iraq declared victory over the terrorist organization in late 2017 but still faces challenges in clearing areas seized by the group from mines and explosives. It has also created issues for displaced Iraqis who cannot return home in compromised areas due to the lack of security.
In early June, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) said in a statement that the presence of unexploded ordnance and mines in areas liberated from the Islamic State in Iraq continues to hinder the safe and voluntary return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Earlier this month, an American explosives expert was killed as he tried to defuse a bomb in a remote area in Nineveh. The specialist was working with a foreign organization that clears such devices, a source said then.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany