Salahuddin, IRAQ – Suspected Islamic State (ISIS) militants have destroyed a mosque on a road between Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces, a move that is seen by commentators as a new escalation against worship places in Iraq, a security source was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Alsumaria News on Tuesday, the source said, “Armed men believed to be members of the Islamic State group have sneaked into al-Mustafa mosque in al Alam district in Tikrit and detonated bombs.”
“The explosions caused major damage to the mosque but no human casualties were reported,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, pointed out.
The source noted that a security force rushed to the blast site and opened a probe into the attack, Iraqi News reported.
The Islamic State group appeared on the international scene in 2014 when it seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, declaring the establishment of an Islamic “caliphate” from Mosul city.
Later on, the group has become notorious for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions and beheadings, prompting the U.S. to lead an international coalition to destroy it.
The Iraqi capital has seen almost daily bombings and armed attacks against security members, paramilitary troops and civilians since the Iraqi government launched a wide-scale campaign to retake Islamic State-occupied areas in 2016.
Though most of the daily bombings go without a claim of responsibility, Islamic State has declared it had been behind many.
Although Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December with the help of a US-led alliance, isolated cells believed to be linked to the militant group remain active in some parts of the country.
In recent weeks, suspected Islamic State insurgents have carried out several attacks targeting security forces in the areas north-west of Kirkuk.
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