Eight civilians killed in Iraq in suspected Daesh attacks

An Iraqi soldier waves an Iraqi flag from the top of a church damaged by ISIS fighters in Bartella, east of Mosul, Iraq. (Reuters)
Updated 03 September 2018

Eight civilians killed in Iraq in suspected Daesh attacks

  • The extremist group has stepped up its attacks since the release of a purported new audio message by Baghdadi

SAMARA: Suspected Daesh group militants have killed eight people and wounded four others in two attacks in northern Iraq, security officials said Monday.
The extremist group has stepped up its attacks since the release of a purported new audio message late last month from Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
On Monday “seven civilians were killed when jihadists fired on houses in the village of Albu Shaher,” 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic city north of Baghdad, a security services official told AFP.
A police officer was wounded in that attack, which also saw militants raid a currency exchange office and steal $20,000 (17,225 euros) before fleeing, he added.
Late on Sunday, a man was shot dead and three others were wounded outside a mosque north of Baghdad.
The attack took place in the village of Khanouka near Ash-Sharqat, one of the last areas retaken by government forces from Daesh last year, 100 kilometers north of the capital, a police officer said.
“The man, aged 80, had just finished praying (and was leaving the mosque) when the jihadists opened fire at him,” the officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of the attacks.
According to the police officer, Daesh holdouts are still present in the hills of Khanouka and other mountainous and desert regions of Iraq.
Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi declared “victory” in December in the fight against Daesh, which seized nearly a third of the country in 2014.
But sleeper cells continue to launch attacks from sparsely populated areas.
According to Hisham Al-Hashemi, an expert on radical Islamist groups, about 2,000 Daesh militants are still active in Iraq.
The elusive leader of the Daesh group, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, called on Muslims to wage “jihad” in a purported new audio recording released on August 22.


Turkey’s Fatih drill ship starts operations off northeast Cyprus

Updated 26 min 30 sec ago

Turkey’s Fatih drill ship starts operations off northeast Cyprus

  • Turkey said it is operating on its own continental shelf or areas where Turkish Cypriots have rights
  • Yavuz is another Turkish drillship off the west coast of Cyprus

ANKARA: The Turkish oil-and-gas drilling ship Fatih has started its operations off the coast of northeastern Cyprus, Turkish vice president Fuat Oktay said on Friday, despite warnings from European Union for Ankara to stand down.
On Monday, the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted a framework for restrictive measures against Turkey over its drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey, a formal candidate to join the EU despite worsening ties, criticized the decision and said it would not cease drilling because it is operating on its own continental shelf or areas where Turkish Cypriots have rights.
Another Turkish drillship, Yavuz, is off the west coast of Cyprus.