Bomber blows himself up among civilians fleeing Mosul

An Iraqi family flees from the Old City of Mosul, during the ongoing offensive by Iraqi forces to retake the last district still held by the Daesh group. (AFP)
Updated 23 June 2017

Bomber blows himself up among civilians fleeing Mosul

IRAQ: A suicide bomber blew himself up on Friday among civilians fleeing Mosul’s Old City, where Iraqi forces are gaining ground against jihadists mounting a fierce but desperate defense, officers said.
Ahmed Hashem, a major and medic in the Iraqi army speaking to AFP from a field hospital, said the attack took place in the Mashahda neighborhood of the Old City.
“We received 12 people killed and more than 20 wounded in our field hospital, including women and children,” he said.
A colonel in the army’s 16th infantry division said it was difficult to get a definitive casualty toll because the area where the attack happened was not fully cleared.
“The suicide bomber infiltrated a group of displaced people and blew himself up among them before reaching our troops,” he said.
Thousands of civilians have fled the Old City of Mosul since Iraqi forces launched their most perilous assault yet against the Daesh group.
Around 100,000 more remain trapped by the jihadists, who have made human shields a key element in their defense of the Old City, their last redoubt in Iraq’s second city.
The security forces have been wary of Iraqi Daesh members attempting to flee the Old City death trap by blending in with the population, while the Chechen, French and other foreign jihadists stay behind to mount a suicidal last stand.


Dozens of Iraqi protestors wounded as anti-government unrest resumes

Updated 3 min 36 sec ago

Dozens of Iraqi protestors wounded as anti-government unrest resumes

  • In Baghdad’s Tayaran Square overnight, protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at police
  • Baghdad police said its forces had successfully reopened all the roads that were closed by “violent gatherings.”

BAGHDAD: Dozens of Iraqi protestors were wounded in Baghdad and other cities on Monday in clashes with security forces who were trying to clear blocked roads, security and medical sources said, as anti-government unrest resumed after a lull of several weeks.

In Baghdad’s Tayaran Square overnight, protestors threw petrol bombs and stones at police who responded with tear gas and stun grenades, Reuters witnesses said.

Elsewhere in southern Iraq, hundreds of protestors burned tires and blocked main roads in several cities, including Nassiriya, Kerbala and Amara. They say Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has not fulfilled promises including naming a new government acceptable to Iraqis.

“They (security forces) should stop shooting and aiming, who are they and who we are? Both sides are Iraqis. So why are you killing your brothers?” said one woman protestor in Baghdad who declined to give her name.

Baghdad police said its forces had successfully reopened all the roads that were closed by “violent gatherings.”

Mass protests have gripped Iraq since Oct. 1, with mostly young protesters demanding an overhaul of a political system they see as profoundly corrupt and as keeping most Iraqis in poverty. More than 450 people have been killed.

Numbers had dwindled but protests resumed last week as demonstrators sought to keep up momentum after attention turned to the threat of a US-Iran conflict following Washington’s killing of Tehran’s top general in an air strike inside Iraq.

The killing of Qassem Soleimani, to which Tehran responded with a ballistic missile attack on two Iraqi military bases, has highlighted the influence of some foreign powers in Iraq, especially Iran and the United States.