Baghdad suicide bombing kills at least 5

The Baghdad military command said the suicide bomber targeted a checkpoint near Aden Square in northern Baghdad.
Updated 13 January 2018
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Baghdad suicide bombing kills at least 5

BAGHDAD: A suicide bomb attack near a security checkpoint in the Iraqi capital killed at least five people on Saturday, a police officer said.
The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, had earlier gave an “initial toll of three people killed and 11 wounded” in the attack.
The Baghdad military command said the suicide bomber targeted a checkpoint near Aden Square in northern Baghdad.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but most such attacks in Iraq are the work of the Islamic State jihadist group.
In December, the government announced the “end of the war” against IS, which has been expelled from the Baghdad region and urban areas of Iraq that it controlled.
Jihadist elements are still active, however, north of Baghdad.


Did lightning strike trigger Gaza rocket attack on Israel?

Updated 23 October 2018
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Did lightning strike trigger Gaza rocket attack on Israel?

  • Hamas took the unusual step of denying it had carried out an attack
  • Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said there was reason to believe that was true

JERUSALEM: A theory that a lightning strike triggered Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza last week gained traction in Israel on Tuesday and might explain the Israeli military’s limited response.
Two rockets were launched from the Hamas-ruled enclave on Oct. 17. But the group took the unusual step of denying it had carried out an attack. Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said there was reason to believe that was true.
One of the rockets wrecked a house in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, causing no casualties, the other landed in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel responded with air strikes that killed a militant in Gaza.
Soon afterwards, video appeared on social media showing lightning illuminating the night sky in Gaza and then two flaming rockets streaking into the air.
Israel’s best-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet now believed the lighting set off a launch mechanism.
Asked about the report, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of the security cabinet, told Israel Radio: “I won’t discuss security cabinet meetings and I don’t know which ministers are chatting with journalists, but I can say that as far as we know, Hamas did not intend to fire those rockets.”
Hamas officials had no immediate comment.
The rocket launchings coincided with Egyptian efforts to broker a long-term cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, which have fought three wars in the past 10 years.