Three dead, 13 wounded in suicide bombing near Diyala governorate building

Baqubah – Three people died and 13 others were wounded Sunday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Diyala, security sources were quoted saying.

The source told Alsumaria News that the attacker, wearing an explosive belt, blew himself up at a security checkpoint at the entrance of a street leading to the governorate’s building in central Baqubah. The attack left three women dead and 13 wounded, including security members.

Violence and armed conflicts claimed the lives of 317 Iraqis and caused injuries to 403 others during the month of April, according to a monthly United Nations count.

Islamic State, almost losing its main holdout in Mosul to a security operation running since October, has been escalating attacks at other provinces where it still has a presence.

On Thursday, Udai al-Khadran, mayor of al-Khales town, north of Baqubah, told Alsumaria News that IS redeployed its fighters at villages near the borders with Salahuddin that had not seen a security presence since retaken from the group.

According to the official, the three villages enjoy a “strategic location”, and represent “a direct threat” to neighboring villages and nearby liberated areas.

Government and tribal forces have launched occasional operations over the past few months to clear border regions between both provinces, killing dozens of militants. IS fighters have also responded with occasional attacks targeting troops, leaving several deaths.

Officials from towns still held by IS since 2014 have pressed the Iraqi government to hasten with security operations to retake those regions, but the Iraqi government is giving most attention to its battle in Mosul, Islamic State’s largest stronghold in Iraq.

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