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.


Jordan reopens mosques for socially distanced prayers

Updated 05 June 2020

Jordan reopens mosques for socially distanced prayers

  • The kingdom is gradually easing restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak

AMMAN: Mosques in Jordan opened for communal prayers for the first time in over two months on Friday, with thousands of police deployed to enforce strict social distancing rules at the usually packed places of worship.
The kingdom is gradually easing restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak, which killed nine people in Jordan.
From Saturday, cafes and hotels can reopen and domestic flights will resume, although schools, universities and cinemas remain closed and most public gatherings are still banned.
Over 30,000 police were deployed to oversee crowds attending prayers at the country's 7,000 mosques on Friday, officials said.
Worshippers in the predominantly Muslim country were asked to wear masks, limit prayer time and perform the ablution rite, the act of washing the face, arms and legs before prayer, at home. In some mosques, the floor was marked to designate the spots where worshippers could lay down their prayer rugs at a safe distance from their neighbours.
Since a strict lockdown began in mid-March, the authorities have arrested several people, including clerics, for flouting the ban on prayers inside mosques.