By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SEPT. 24, 2016
BAGHDAD — A triple suicide bombing at a security checkpoint north of Baghdad on Saturday killed at least 11 members of the security forces, a police officer said.
Three militants rammed their explosives-filled vehicles into the main checkpoint near the town of Al-Salam at the province’s northern entrance of Salahuddin Province, the spokesman for the provincial police force, Col. Mohammed al-Jabouri, said. Thirty-four other security officers were wounded, Colonel Jabouri said.
The attack occurred, he said, as the local police chief and the leader of the provincial security committee were visiting the site. Both escaped unharmed.
Almost at the same time, another group of militants on foot attacked a checkpoint at the eastern edge of the province, killing four police officers and wounding two others, he said. One militant was killed in that attack, and the others fled, he said.
The governor of Salahuddin Province, Ahmed al-Jabouri, accused the Islamic State of being behind the attacks. He vowed to “retaliate for the martyrs by chopping off the heads of Daesh” militants, using the Arabic acronym for the group.
No group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the Islamic State has a history of similar attacks in Iraq. The group’s fighters have frequently carried out attacks against security forces and civilians in public areas. The group has stepped up attacks in recent months as it has lost territory in northern and western Iraq that it captured in 2014.
In April 2015, Iraqi security forces drove Islamic State militants from the Salahuddin provincial capital, Tikrit, about 80 miles north of Baghdad. The attack occurred days after government forces recaptured the town of Shirqat, north of Tikrit, from the militants.
Backed by paramilitary forces and the international coalition led by the United States, the Iraqi government is gearing up for a major military operation to dislodge the militants from Mosul.