Iraqi PM vows to expel ISIS after deadly mall attack

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during the Iraqi Police Day at a police academy in Baghdad January 9, 2016. (Reuters)

Iraq’s prime minister vowed on Tuesday to continue the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, a day after the group launched a suicide attack on a shopping mall in the capital, Baghdad, killing 18 people.

Touring the bombed and destroyed mall in the eastern Shiite-dominated area of New Baghdad, Haider al-Abadi described the attack as a “desperate attempt” by militants after they lost control of the key western city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.

Iraq’s government will “spare no efforts” to expel ISIS forces from the country, al-Abadi said.

Gunmen stormed the Jawhara Mall on Monday after setting off a car bomb and launching a suicide attack at its entrance.

Iraqi forces later surrounded the building, landing troops on the roof before clashing with attackers inside, killing two gunmen and arresting four. Along with the 18 killed, around 50 people were wounded.

Shortly after the attack, ISIS posted an online statement saying it targeted an area where many Shiite Muslims are known to gather and warned of “worse” to come.

The Associated Press could not immediately verify the authenticity of the statement, but its language and phrasing is consistent with past ISIS claims of responsibility.

On the same day, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a checkpoint north of Baghdad on Tuesday, wounding a senior intelligence officer and killing four police, security officials said.

The bomber attacked the convoy of Colonel Qassem al-Anbaki, the head of police intelligence in Diyala province, at a checkpoint, army and police officers said.

The blast in the Jdaidat al-Shatt area, south of Diyala capital Baquba, also killed four policemen, including a first lieutenant, and wounded nine other police, the officers said.


(With the Associated Press and AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
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