Iraq bombings kill 18

Militants unleashed a wave of bombings yesterday targeting commercial areas in and around the Iraqi capital, killing at least 18 civilians, officials said, as clashes continued between government forces and Islamic State militants in the western province of Anbar. Baghdad sees near-daily bombings mainly targeting security forces and the country’s Shi’ite majority. The Islamic State group and other Sunni extremists are believed to be behind the attacks. The deadliest attack took place in Baghdad’s Khilani Square, where a car bomb killed at least seven people and wounded 25, a police officer said. The car was parked near a Sunni mosque and a gathering of motorcycle vendors. Hours earlier, an explosives-laden car exploded in Mahmoudiya town, about 30km south of Baghdad, killing at least four civilians, another police officer said. Three people were killed and 13 wounded in another car bomb explosion in Baghdad’s southwestern Amil neighborhood, he added, while two others were killed in a blast in the nearby Bayaa district. In the capital’s eastern suburb of Husseiniyah, a bomb went off in an outdoor market, killing two civilians and wounding six others, police added. Medical officials confirmed the toll....

IS suicide bombers kill four at Iraq-Jordan border

BAGHDAD: The Islamic State group claimed an attack on Saturday by French, Belgian and Senegalese suicide bombers on the Iraq-Jordan border that officials said killed at least four Iraqi security personnel. The bombers detonated explosives-rigged vehicles, one of them a lorry, at checkpoints on the Iraqi side of the Turaibil crossing, said Sabah Karhout, the head of the Anbar province council. He put the toll at four dead and eight wounded. The deputy head of the crossing, Khaled Alwan, and army Colonel Jabr Khailan, both confirmed the attack but gave higher tolls. The Islamic State (IS) Jihadist group claimed the assault in a statement posted online, saying the bombers were from France, Belgium and Senegal. It said the bombers targeted the main checkpoint at the crossing, a mess hall and sleeping quarters for security personnel, and an army patrol. Iraqi security forces control pockets of territory in Anbar, a vast desert province that stretches from the borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the western approaches to Baghdad. But much of the province is held by IS, which spearheaded an offensive last June that overran swathes of territory north and west of the Iraqi capital. Some areas have been out of government control for longer than that. Anti-government fighters seized parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah, to its east, in early 2014....

158 Killed in Iraq

Iraq Force Retake Baiji Refinery; 158 Killed across the Country   Iraqi authorities say that most of the refinery in Baiji is now in the hands of the security forces. Fifty militants were killed.   The quest to identify hundreds of remains that may belong to victims of the Camp Speicher massacre continues in Tikrit. At least 158 were killed and 98 were wounded. In Baghdad, a blast killed a police officer and wounded four more in Arab Jabour. Other roadside bombings left eight dead and 29 wounded in Jadida, Kifah, and Zaafaraniyah. A blast in Diyala province killed four police officers and wounded five others.   In Daquq, a bomb killed a Peshmerga commander and two bodyguards. Security forces killed 35 militants.   In Garma, 77 militants were killed. Seven militants were killed and 60 were wounded in Saturday’s battles, possibly in Bashir.  Another 23 were killed in air strikes.  ...

Iraq: IS terrorists execute 33 people in Anbar province

RAMADI, (Xinhua): The Islamic State (IS) militants executed 33 people, including women and children, near the city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said on Saturday.   The IS militants captured the 33 people on Friday after the militants took control of Albu Farraj area in north of Ramadi, some 110 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.   Late Friday, the IS group executed 15 allegedly for cooperation with the security forces and government-backed Sahwa Sunni paramilitary groups, the source said, adding that the other 18 people from Albu Farraj residents were executed later for similar reasons.   “All the victims were shot dead with bullets in their heads,” the source said.   On Friday morning, the IS militants carried out attacks on Albu Farraj area from several directions and after fierce clashes with the security forces and allied Sunni tribesmen, the group captured large parts of the area located on the northern side of Euphrates River which separates the area from the city of Ramadi, the source said.   Friday battles in Albu Farraj forced dozens of families to leave their homes and resort to Ramadi, which itself is partially seized by the IS militants, the source added.   Early on Saturday, the U.S.-led coalition aircraft carried out an airstrike against the IS positions in Albu Farraj area, the source said, without giving further details, as the area is still under control of the IS group.   Meanwhile, the Iraqi forces and allied militias, known as Hashid Shaabi, or Popular...

Iraq: Suicide blast hits bus with Iranian pilgrims, kills 6

3/31/2015 BAGHDAD — Iraqi officials say a suicide bomber has targeted a bus with Iranian Shiite pilgrims north of Baghdad, killing six people, including four Iranians. Police officials say Tuesday’s attack happened in the town of Taji, 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the Iraqi capital where the bomber detonated his explosives as the pilgrims were getting off the bus at a gas station. Hospital officials said an Iranian woman and the Iraqi bus driver were among the dead. Also, at least 11 Iranian pilgrims were wounded in the attack. The pilgrims were returning from the holy Shiite city of Samarra. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media. Nobody immediately claimed responsibly for the attack. Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed....