Iraq: Jihadist attacks claim 18 lives

No terrorist group immediately claimed the responsibility for the attacks. However, the modus operandi behind the attacks indicates that it is the handiwork of Islamic State group. The IS still has sleeper cells in Iraq in spite of the group's defeat in 2017.

One attack targeted troops in Tarmiya, an agricultural suburb 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the Iraqi capital.

"IS fighters attacked an Iraqi army convoy at night and killed two officers and two soldiers," a security official said, on condition of anonymity. 

Reinforcements were dispatched to the area but also came under fire, with "an officer and two soldiers" killed, the source said.

A member of tribal fighters integrated into the regular forces that were then deployed to the scene was also killed, "along with a civilian caught in the crossfire", the source added.

Further north, in the central Alton Kubre region, "six peshmerga (Kurdish fighters) were killed when Islamic State group jihadists attacked their military position with light arms", another security official told AFP.

Alton Kubre is a disputed area claimed by both the federal government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan authorities. 

Another attack took place in the western desert bordering Syria, a third security source said. 

"An officer and a soldier were killed in a bomb explosion while an army convoy was en route to Akashat," he said.

A soldier was also killed in a bomb blast in Diyala province, which borders Baghdad to the east, according to another official, who added that two other fighters were also wounded in a separate attack.



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