Militant killed while planting bomb in Diyala: official

Baqubah – A militant was killed when a bomb he was trying to plant in a country road in Diyala exploded, an official said Friday.

The “terrorist” was trying to place the bomb on the side of a country road northeast of Baqubah, said the mayor of Meqdadiya, Adnan al-Tamimi.

Reports about Islamic State militants dying in explosions while trying to emplace explosive devices have been recurrent since Iraqi forces launched a campaign in 2016 to retake areas controlled by the group.

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.

Government and tribal forces have launched occasional operations over the past few months to clear border regions between Diyala and Salahuddin, 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.

Violence and armed conflicts left 824 Iraqis dead and wounded during the month of May, according to a monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq which excludes security members deaths.advergear

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