World 29.8.2018 11:01 am

Suicide car bomb kills 11 in Iraq

Iraqi forces, supported by the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitaries, advance near the village of Sheikh Younis, south of Mosul, after the offencive to retake the western side of the city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters commenced on February 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ahmad al-Rubaye

Iraqi forces, supported by the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitaries, advance near the village of Sheikh Younis, south of Mosul, after the offencive to retake the western side of the city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters commenced on February 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ahmad al-Rubaye

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s earlier declaration of victory over jihadists appears to have been premature.

A suicide bomber blew up a vehicle in the town of Al-Qaim in western Iraq on Wednesday, killing at least 11 people, five of them security personnel, police said.

The 9 am bombing at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Al-Qaim also wounded 16 people – 11 civilians and five security personnel, police Captain Mahmud Jassem told AFP.

The town, on the Syrian border some 340 kilometres from Baghdad, was one of the last in Iraq to be recaptured from the Islamic State group in November last year.

One month later, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the jihadists.

But since then, the security forces have announced a number of campaigns to flush out holdout IS fighters from sparsely populated areas from which they have continued to mount attacks.

The vast desert that straddles the border with Syria on either side of the Euphrates valley town of Al-Qaim has been one the jihadists’ principal hideouts.

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