Roadside bomb kills Iraqi army officer

BAGHDAD – An Iraqi army captain was killed and two soldiers injured on Wednesday when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle in farmland north of Baghdad, a security official told AFP.
There was no immediate claim for the bombing, which struck in the Tarmia district, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the capital, while troops were on patrol, the official said, asking not to be identified.
The area is a known hotspot for Islamic State the group’s sleeper cells, which remain active five years after the Iraqi authorities declared victory over the jihadists.
Tarmiya’s orchards and palm groves are criss-crossed by a network of irrigation canals that make the area an ideal hideout for militants.
Iraqi counter-terrorism units carry out regular search operations in the area to prevent it being used as a launching pad for attacks, but the terrain favors sleeper cells.
IS is the shadow of the force that swept through large swaths of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014 and imposed its murderous sectarian rule.
But he can still call on an underground network of 6,000 to 10,000 fighters to carry out attacks on both sides of the porous border, according to a UN report released earlier this year.


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