Shirqat – Three Islamic State members died when a booby trap they were preparing in Salahuddin province exploded, said a local source on Wednesday.
The three were bomb experts with the group, and included a British national nicknamed Abu al-Baraa al-Muhajer, the source told Alsumaria News. They were booby-trapping a vehicle, the source added.
The trio arrived to the city of Shirqat a month earlier, escaping battles in the western side of Mosul where Iraqi forces are days away from retaking IS’s largest bastion and previously-proclaimed capital.
Dozens of IS members have died over the past months while planting explosives at different havens in Salahuddin and other provinces.
Islamic State has been in control over the eastern side of Shirqat since 2014. The group has recently stepped up attacks across Iraqi provinces, and an increasing activity on the group’s behalf has been detected at Salahuddin’s borders with neighboring provinces.
The Iraqi government, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, is expected to move towards clearing IS pockets across Iraq once its eight-month-old campaign against the group in Mosul, the militants’ largest stronghold in Iraq. finishes. The fall of Mosul could mean a collapse of the group’s self-styled “Islamic Caliphate” declared in 2014.