Militants launch largest attacks in months on Baghdad outskirts

Militants launch largest attacks in months on Baghdad outskirts
Iraqi security forces ride in vehicles travelling to Mosul to fight against militants of Islamic State at an Iraqi army base in Camp Taji in Baghdad
PHOTO: Reuters

BAGHDAD - Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked Iraqi army and police posts on the western outskirts of Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 12 security forces and seizing positions in a grain silo and a cemetery, officials said.

The largest assault near the capital in months was still raging, said security officials who blamed Islamic State. A news agency that supports Islamic State said the group had launched a"wide attack" in Abu Ghraib.

Suicide bombers in vehicles and on foot attacked government positions 25 km (15 miles) from the centre of Baghdad and next to the international airport, government officials said.

Dozens of militants driving Humvees and pickup trucks fixed with machine guns attacked from the nearby Islamic State-controlled areas of Garma and Falluja, army and police sources added.

The Amaq news agency said Iraqi forces had been forced to retreat from several locations. But the Iraqi security sources said the militants had been forced out of a police station and several army positions and had dug in at the cemetery and the silo, part of which was set on fire.

A military statement said at least four suicide attackers were killed around the silo, with another 20 militants holed up inside.

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