Officials say suicide bombing kills 12 people in Iraq - UPDATED

Officials say suicide bombing kills 12 people in Iraq - <span style="color: red;">UPDATED
# 12 January 2015 17:34 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. A suicide car bomb killed 12 Shiite militiamen and Iraqi soldiers Monday in a town north of Baghdad, authorities said, sparking a battle between security forces and fighters with the extremist Islamic State group, APA reports quoting Associated Press.

The suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a gathering of soldiers and Shiite fighters in the town of Abasiyat, just south of Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Police and hospital officials said the attack killed 10 militiamen and two soldiers, while wounding 18 people.

Clashes between Iraqi security forces and militants from the Islamic State group erupted immediately after the attack, police said, though the extremists did not immediately claim responsibility for the bombing.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Iraq sees near-daily bombings and other attacks mainly targeting the Shiite majority and security forces. Tikrit, held by the Islamic State group, and surrounding areas have been under constant attacks by its extremists.

The Islamic State group captured about a third of Iraq last year. The militant onslaught has become Iraq's worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops.

A U.S.-led coalition is conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group in both Iraq and Syria. On Monday, the U.S. military said in a statement that coalition aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq and 11 in Syria.

Meanwhile Monday, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency said Mahdi Norouzi, a member of paramilitary wing of its elite Revolutionary Guard, was killed while fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq.

Shiite powerhouse Iran has sent officers to Iraq, but insists they are only providing military advice and training to Iraqi forces. In December, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander was killed in a battle in Iraq.

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20:34

Baku-APA. Eight militiamen and soldiers were killed and some 16 others wounded on Monday as a suicide car bomber struck a building housing Shiite militiamen in the country's northern central province of Salahudin, a provincial security source said, APA report quoting Xinhua.

The attack occurred in the town of Abbasiyah, some 140 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into the building and blew it up, destroying large part of the building, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The death toll could rise as ambulances and military vehicles continue to evacuate the casualties, the source said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State (IS) militant group, an al-Qaida offshoot, was allegedly responsible for such suicide attacks in the country in most cases.

Large parts of Salahudin province have been under IS control since June 11, a day after bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and the group which took control of the country's northern city of Mosul and later seized swathes of territories in Nineveh and other predominantly Sunni provinces.

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