Five dead in Baghdad cafe suicide bombing claimed by Daesh

1 / 2
Iraqi municipal workers clean the site of an overnight suicide bomb attack in Baghdad's Shiite suburb of Al-Shoala on May 24, 2018. (AFP)
2 / 2
Iraqi municipal workers clean the site of an overnight suicide bomb attack in Baghdad's Shiite suburb of Al-Shoala on May 24, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 24 May 2018
0

Five dead in Baghdad cafe suicide bombing claimed by Daesh

BAGHDAD: At least five people were killed and several others wounded when a suicide bomber struck a cafe in Baghdad, police said Thursday, in a pre-dawn attack claimed by Daesh.
“A suicide bomber blew up his explosive belt while he was surrounded by police near a public garden in Al-Shoala district,” a mainly Shiite northern neighborhood of the capital, the statement by the security forces said.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack and said it killed 15 people.
A police source told AFP five people had been killed and 16 others wounded in the overnight bombing, which hit people who had gathered after breaking their daily Ramadan fast.
Those killed were a woman, a girl and three police officers, according to the source.

Later, Iraqi securety forces announced Thursday that it prevented an attack in Iraq hours after the suicide attack in Baghdad claimed 5 in Al-Shoala district of Baghdad.The Iraqi security forces said that its units encircled eight alleged suicide bombers near Kirkuk. The police did not reveal where the suicide bombers were going to strike before they were shot dead

The attack in Al-Shoala district came on the seventh day of Ramadan fasting, a period regularly hit by bloody extremist violence in Iraq since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Cafes in Iraq are particularly busy at night during this Islamic holy month, with families and friends gathering to relax and eat before the fast re-starts at dawn.
Iraq in December claimed victory over Daesh after a long campaign to retake swathes of territory captured by extremists, but Daesh continue to carry out various attacks in Iraq despite its victory announcement.


Israel quiet on US claims it hit Iraq militia in Syria

Updated 3 min 5 sec ago
0

Israel quiet on US claims it hit Iraq militia in Syria

JERUSALEM: Israel declined to comment on Tuesday on a weekend air strike against an Iraqi paramilitary base in eastern Syria after its US ally implicated it in the attack.
The Sunday evening strike against the Al-Hari base on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq came less than 24 hours after Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would strike Iran’s “proxies” anywhere in Syria.
Fighters of Iraq’s Hashed Al-Shaabi paramilitary force, mainly composed of Iran-trained Shiite militia, have played a major role in the war against the Sunni extremists of the Daesh group in Syria as well as Iraq.
But their presence has sparked confrontations with both Washington, which has been supporting a Kurdish-led alliance that controls other parts of eastern Syria, and Israel, which fears Iranian-inspired attacks on its forces in the occupied Golan Heights.
Syrian authorities and the Iraqi paramilitaries both blamed Washington for the strike, which killed at least 52 fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
But US officials denied any involvement and instead pointed the finger at Israel.
“We have reasons to believe that it was an Israeli strike,” one US official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The Israeli military declined to be drawn on the US claims. “We are not commenting on foreign reports,” a spokeswoman said.
The military has carried out previous strikes against Iranian targets in Syria, but most have been significantly closer to Israel or the Israeli-occupied Golan.
Last month, Israel launched a large-scale attack on what it said were Iranian targets in Syria, raising fears of a major confrontation.
Those strikes followed a barrage of rockets that Israel said was fired toward its forces in the occupied Golan by Iran from Syria.
Even before that, Israel had been blamed for a series of recent strikes inside Syria that killed Iranians, though it has not acknowledged them.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday morning, Netanyahu reiterated his position that “Iran needs to withdraw from all of Syria.”
“We will take action — and are already taking action — against efforts to establish a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria both close to the border and deep inside Syria,” the prime minister said.
“We will act against these efforts anywhere in Syria.”
Israeli seized a large swathe of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.
Iran has been a close ally of the Syrian regime for some four decades and, with Russia, has been a key supporter in the civil war that broke out in 2011.