Multiple IS suicide attacks in Iraq kill over 21 people
In Iraq, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for multiple suicide attacks that killed at least 20 people on Sunday.
In Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad and home to a major Shiite shrine, a man blew up an ambulance filled with explosives near a parking lot where pilgrims were gathered, and then detonated a suicide vest; more than 100 were wounded and 11 killed.
In Tikrit, a suicide attacker smashed his car into a checkpoint, killing at least five female students, a woman, and three policeman; 25 were wounded. In an online statement, ISIS took credit for the attacks.
Iraqi forces made some progress Sunday in their fight for Mosul, the last ISIS stronghold in the country. Mosul has been controlled by ISIS for two years, and The Associated Press reports that while some residents have opted to flee, others are being forced to stay behind, used as human shields by ISIS during airstrikes.
“There are a lot of civilians and we are trying to protect them,” Lt. Col. Muhanad al-Timimi said. “This is one of the hardest battles we’ve faced till now.” After days of clearing out villages on the road to Mosul, Iraqi forces about one mile inside the city.
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