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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, October 15, 2018

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Many killed in Iraq bombing by Islamic State

Suicide bombings in western Anbar province of Iraq

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PHOTO CREDIT: BNN news

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Suspected Islamic State fighters have carried out a series of suicide bombings in western Anbar province of Iraq, killing many and injuring many more, officials said on Wednesday.

Brig. Gen Saad Maan Ibrahim, the spokesman for the Joint Military Command, said that the attacks took place outside the Islamic State-held city of Fallujah late Tuesday.

Three blasts were triggered targeting army convoys travelling in Anbar province. At least 17 people were killed, Ibrahim said.

The militants struck near a water control station and a lock system on a canal between Lake Tharthar and the Euphrates River where army forces have been deployed for the Anbar offensive, he said.

BBC citing an unnamed source said that suicide car bombs and militants wearing explosive vests were used to attack troops and Shia militiamen north of the town of Karma, also east of Fallujah.

Ibrahim said that the extremists used a sandstorm that engulfed most of Iraq Tuesday night to launch the deadly wave of bombings.

The bombings came just hours after the Iraqi government announced the start of a wide-scale operation to recapture areas under the control of the Islamic State group in Anbar.

The city was captured two weeks ago after troops withdrew despite vastly outnumbering the IS forces attacking, prompting the US Defence Secretary to question their "will to fight".

Meanwhile, AFP news agency citing an Iraqi army colonel said troops and fighters from the Popular Mobilisation (al-Hashid al-Shaabi), a force comprising dozens of mostly Shia militias and some Sunni volunteers, had taken up positions on the southern edge of Ramadi, outside the city's ring road.

They were said to have taken control of the southern districts of Taesh and Humayra and also managed to enter the campus of the University of Anbar.

Islamic State fighters captured Ramadi in Iraq and the Syrian ancient town of Palmyra earlier this month, showing that it is able to advance in both countries despite months of US-led airstrikes.

Capt. Andrew Caulk, a US Air Force spokesman in Qatar, told the AP it will continue to provide air support "to government-controlled Iraqi forces" throughout the country, including near Ramadi, where it has been carrying out airstrikes for several months.> BNN

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