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Iraq suicide bomber kills 7 Saraya al-Salam fighters

Iraqi army says militia fighters loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr were targeted at a base near Samarra

SAMARRA, Iraq (AFP) – Eleven Iraqi fighters of were killed north of Baghdad on Thursday, December 12 when two suicide bombers attacked a base of Saraya al-Salam, an armed group led by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the Iraqi army said.

The attack, which also wounded three fighters, was carried out by “a suicide terrorist,” the army said, using its standard term for Islamic State fighters.

Later, a second attacker blew up a car packed with explosives at the same site, killing another four fighters, the army said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

The attack took place late in the day near Tharthar lake southwest of Samarra, a longtime stronghold of Sunni jihadist groups around 100 km (65 miles) north of Baghdad.

Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam (Peace Companies) force took part in the grueling operation against ISIS after the group seized a third of Iraq and swathes of neighboring Syria in 2014.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in late 2017, but its sleeper cells continue to carry out attacks across the country.

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