Iraqi soldier killed, others injured in Saladin bombing: source

Iraqi soldier killed, others injured in Saladin bombing: source

Shafaq News/One Iraqi soldier was killed, and others were injured in a roadside bomb attack in Saladin Governorate on Wednesday, according to a security source.

The source informed Shafaq News Agency that the improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near an Iraqi military patrol traveling between Diyala and Saladin governorates. The blast resulted in the death of one soldier and injuries to at least four others, whose conditions were described as critical.

The source confirmed that the attack occurred within Saladin's jurisdiction and that authorities had secured the area. An investigation has been launched to determine the perpetrators and the full details of the incident.

Located in northern Iraq, Saladin has witnessed increased activity by armed groups, particularly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization, which occasionally carries out attacks against security forces and civilians. The attack constitutes the latest example of ISIS activity in Iraq.

Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led coalition, defeated ISIS territorially in 2017. Since then, the group has carried out lower-scale attacks, particularly in remote areas of Diyala, Saladin, Nineveh, and Kirkuk, including in disputed areas between the federal and Kurdistan Region governments.

Iraqi operations against ISIS are ongoing. In March, Iraqi forces announced the death of a prominent ISIS leader. On Tuesday, seven "terrorists" with undisclosed affiliations were arrested in Nineveh.

A day earlier, authorities seized a money exchange that allegedly received funds on behalf of ISIS in Kirkuk, the official Iraqi News Agency reported.

In this regard, security expert Abbas al-Samarrai told Shafaq News Agency that the recent increase in terrorist attacks is a dangerous indicator of the resurgence of terrorist cell activities.

"There is a need to review existing security and intelligence plans, which remain vigilant against ISIS remnants."

Al-Samarrai noted that the areas between Tikrit and Diyala and Tikrit and Kirkuk are considered security vacuums requiring military deployment and changes to security plans.

The recent ISIS activity comes as the Iraqi government seeks the withdrawal of US forces from the country. There are around 2,500 US military personnel in Iraq as part of the anti-ISIS coalition.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has repeatedly said the coalition is no longer necessary and that it is time to implement a withdrawal. The two countries began a dialogue on the issue late last year.

American officials maintain that ISIS remains a threat in Iraq, albeit less so than in years past. In its report on ISIS for the fourth quarter of 2023, the US Defense Department's Office of Inspector General described ISIS as "largely contained."

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