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Twenty-four people perished from Islamic State-claimed twin bombings in the Iraqi capital on Thursday as local government forces come closer to recapturing the terrorist group’s stronghold of Falluja after over two weeks of strategic military activity.
One of the attacks made deadly use of a car filled with bombs, while the other was carried out by a terrorist wearing an explosive vest.
The Iraqi military’s offensive against ISIS-controlled Falluja began on May 23rd, after the hardline Sunni group’s forces launched a string of sectarian attacks in Shiite districts of Baghdad. Last week, troops encircled and besieged the city in preparation of advancement inside the occupied territory, which began on Wednesday.
The car bomb targeted a commercial street in the newer portion of Baghdad in the eastern part of the city, according to a police officer cited by Reuters. A total of 17 people died and over 50 became injured as a result.
The explosive vest went off near an area called Taji, north of the capital city. It killed seven soldiers and wounded more than 20, the officer said, adding that the attack had targeted the military barracks located nearby.
The Islamic State “has a long experience in establishing small multiple networks that have the ability to operate independently from each other,” according to remarks made to Reuters by Jasim al-Bahadil, a former army general.
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Sunni insurgencies operating out of Falluja have fought against American forces during the occupation in 2003 and against the Iraqi government, when Shiite leaders took power.
Deeply dug tunnels and explosive devices planted on the roads leading to the city will make the mission to recover Falluja cumbersome, according to Iraq’s Finance Minister, Hoshiyar Zebari.
Reports for the war zone say ISIS fighters have been using residents as human shields and gunning down civilians trying to run from the city.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…