ISIL claims suicide attacks in Fallujah, near Karbala

  |   World News

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group has carried out several attacks in other areas of Iraq since the operation to retake Mosul was launched a month ago, in an apparent bid to draw attention and possibly troops away from the battle for the city.

Earlier on Monday, a group of ISIL attackers armed with suicide vests and light weapons killed at least eight people in Ain al-Tamer, 50km from a Shia shrine in the city of Karbala, before blowing themselves, according to local officials. The attack involved six suicide bombers who were detected by security forces before a major gathering in the area that is expected to draw tens of thousands of pilgrims. Masum al-Tamimi, a member of the Karbala provincial council, said the attackers tried to infiltrate the town in the early hours before withdrawing to the al-Jihad area after clashing with security forces, where they detonated their explosives.

The offensive on Mosul entered its fifth week on Monday, with Iraqi government forces still trying to consolidate gains made in the eastern edge of the city that they breached end of October. They are yet to cross into the northern and southern limits of Mosul, where more than a million people are thought to be still living.

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