Seven killed in Baghdad suburb despite anti-Daesh sweep: security sources

Medics transport one of the victims of a bomb plast to a hospital in the Shiite holy Iraqi city of Karbala, 100kms south of the capital Baghdad on September 20, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2019

Seven killed in Baghdad suburb despite anti-Daesh sweep: security sources

BAGHDAD: Seven people have been killed in three attacks in the northern outskirts of the Iraqi capital, security sources said Sunday, despite the army recently declaring the area swept of extremists.
The overnight attacks Saturday into Sunday targeted the homes of tribal fighters belonging to the powerful Hashed Al-Shaabi paramilitary force, as well as army barracks, in the Sunni suburb of Tarmiya, the sources said.
The Tribal Hashed is composed largely of Sunni fighters and feeds into the broader Shiite-dominated Hashed Al-Shaabi, which fought back the Daesh group with Iraqi troops.
Tarmiya has long been a bastion of Sunni extremist groups and Daesh sleeper cells have continued to operate in the area, according to the security sources.
“Unidentified gunmen attacked the home of a member of the Tribal Hashed, killing him, his wife, his son and mother,” a police officer told AFP, asking to remain anonymous.
The officer said a separate attack overnight saw sniper fire hit an army barracks, killing two members of the security forces.
And at dawn on Sunday, another attack targeted a Tribal Hashed member’s home, killing one, he added.
On Sunday afternoon, security forces announced they had killed one would-be suicide bomber in a village in the Tarmiya region.
For weeks this summer, Iraqi forces — the army, police and the Hashed — combed the orchards around Tarmiya for Daesh sleeper cells.
In July, they declared the operation a success after arresting several alleged IS members.
Daesh overran large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” in areas they controlled.
Iraq in late 2017 declared victory against IS but the group’s disparate network of undercover fighters still carries out deadly attacks across the country.
On Friday, an attack claimed by Daesh killed 12 people on the edge of Karbala, as the Shiite holy city prepares to receive millions of pilgrims next month.


Libya’s navy intercepts about 150 Europe-bound migrants

Updated 19 October 2019

Libya’s navy intercepts about 150 Europe-bound migrants

  • Three rubber boats with 148 Arab and African migrants were stopped off Libya’s western towns of Zuwara and Sabrata
  • Libya has emerged as a major transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty to Europe

CAIRO: Libya’s coast guard says it has intercepted around 150 Europe-bound migrants off the country’s Mediterranean coast.
Spokesman Ayoub Gassim said Saturday the migrants had been returned to shore and would be taken to a detention center in the capital, Tripoli.
Gassim said the three rubber boats with 148 Arab and African migrants were stopped off Libya’s western towns of Zuwara and Sabrata Friday, and included 15 women and 11 children.
Libya has emerged as a major transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty to Europe. In recent years, the EU has partnered with Libya’s coast guard and other local groups to stem the dangerous sea crossings.
Rights groups, however, say those policies leave migrants at the mercy of armed groups or confined in squalid detention centers rife with abuses.