At least three killed in Mosul suicide attacks: officials

FILE PHOTO: Iraqis gather at the site of bombing on May 30, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 24 June 2017

At least three killed in Mosul suicide attacks: officials

MOSUL: Suicide bombers attacked a shopping district of east Mosul that was retaken from the jihadists months ago, killing at least three people, medical and security officials said Saturday.
The attack struck the Muthanna neighborhood late on Friday as residents shopped ahead of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
“The first suicide bomber blew himself up as he was being stopped by a policeman, who died on the spot,” a senior police officer said.
A second bomber managed to enter a shopping arcade and blew himself up among civilians, killing at least two and wounding nine, according to the same officer and a medic at Al-Khansaa hospital.
A third suicide bomber was killed by police before he could detonate his vest, the sources said.
The attack was not the first but among the bloodiest since Iraqi forces retook the eastern side of Mosul in January as part of a massive offensive to wrest back the country’s second city from Daesh.
Residents in areas retaken from the jihadists have warned that sleeper cells remain a threat and that cursory screening has allowed many Daesh supporters to return to civilian life without facing justice.
There had been growing calls in east Mosul before Friday night’s attack for the families of Daesh members to be banished for 10 years, among other measures.


Pompeo offers help in call to Lebanon PM

Updated 23 min 9 sec ago

Pompeo offers help in call to Lebanon PM

  • US defense secretary meanwhile played down President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the explosion was a bomb
  • Pompeo did not describe how the United States would help Lebanon

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered assistance to Lebanon Wednesday after the massive explosion that leveled a huge section of Beirut and left at least 113 dead.
A day after the explosion in the Lebanese capital’s port, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper meanwhile played down President Donald Trump’s suggestion that it was a bomb, supporting instead Lebanese official accounts that it came from 2,750 tons of a volatile fertilizer ingredient, ammonium nitrate, stored in warehouse.
“I’m still getting information on what happened,” Esper told the Aspen Security Forum.
“Most believe that it was an accident as reported,” he said.
In a call with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab, Pompeo voiced “our steadfast commitment to assist the Lebanese people as they cope with the aftermath of this terrifying event,” a State Department statement said.
He “further stressed our solidarity with and support for the Lebanese people as they strive for the dignity, prosperity and security they deserve.”
The State Department only referred to a “horrible explosion,” despite Trump’s claim Tuesday that unnamed US generals indicated to him that “It was a bomb of some kind, yes.”
The Pentagon would not confirm Trump’s account.
Pompeo did not describe how the United States would help Lebanon, which was already in a deep economic crisis and seeking more than $20 billion in external funding.
The United States has been hesitant about supporting an aid package from the International Monetary Fund, insisting on reforms and the exclusion of Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia and political party.