Three killed, nine injured in clashes northeast of Baghdad

Diyala, 2022: Elements of Tribal Mobilization Forces affiliated with the Shiite paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF in the Qaratapa sub-district. Nidaa Diyala Brigade media

By Layla Ahmed in Diyala

Three members of a paramilitary group were killed and nine others were wounded in a village of Diyala province northeast of Baghdad district when the extremist militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS attacked them with sniper and improvised explosive devices IED, local officials said.

At Tuesday night, April 19, 2022, a number of militants of the ISIS stormed a military point for Nidaa Diyala Brigade, part of the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces PMF, stationed in the village of Kashkaul in Qaratapa sub-district of Diyala province.

"The attack took place around 8:30 last night, three PMF fighters were martyred and nine others were wounded as a result of the clashes," Wasfi Al-Tamimi, mayor of Qaratapa said.

"Part of the wounded are from the village, because they also confronted ISIS militants and the confrontations lasted for more than 25 minutes. The clashes were violent, and it is the first time that the area witnessed such fierce clashes," Al-Tamimi added.

"ISIS used sniper weapons in the battle," said the director of Qirtabah district, "and while it was heading to the area to provide support, an explosive device exploded with another force affiliated with the crowd and incurred losses."

The security file of the area is at the hands of the tribal mobilization forces affiliated with the PMF.

The regrouping militants of ISIS have attacked Peshmerga points in Kifri for three successive nights while the Peshmerga senior commanders deny any security gap between the Peshemrga and the Iraqi forces in the disputed territories in Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salahaddin.

Sleeper cells and resistant pockets of ISIS militants are regrouping in the rural areas of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil. They are posing a high threat by different tactics such as hit-and-run attacks, kidnappings, snipers, IED and roadside bombs targeting the Iraqi forces and civilians.

KirkukNow was not able to obtain statements from the leaders of the Diyala Brigade, and with the exception of the obituaries of the victims, the brigade's Facebook page did not publish any information and details about the attack.

“Hashid (PMF) does not have thermographic cameras in this area. Besides, it is a rugged and dark area, so we cannot track Daesh (ISIS) movements, and we do not know how many militants participated in the attack,” said the mayor.

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The three fighters who were killed in the attack of the village of Kashkoul in Qaratapa, Diyala province.

The village of Kashkoul is located 15 km southeast of Qaratapa sub-district of Khanaqin district in Diyala province, home for 70 families of the Arab component live.

Colonel Shamal Abdul Rahman, director of Cox Asayish (Security forces) which carries out its duties in an area adjacent to the place where the attack took place, told KirkukNow, "The military point that was attacked is called Shoka Military Point and it is located outside the village of Kashkool.”

“First, ISIS militants launched their attack using sniper weapons, and one of the Tribal Mobilization fighters was killed in the process, after which the residents of Kashkool village came to their rescue.”

"The confrontations were fierce, and it is the first time such fierce clashes take place in Qaratapa, while another unit of Hashid went to support them, an explosive device exploded."

Colonel Abdul Rahman says, according to their follow-ups and the information they obtained, "seven ISIS elements participated in the attack, and in addition to sniper weapons, they used Kalashnikovs and BKC machine guns," noting that the Peshmerga forces were in a state of readiness last night for any emergency.

Qaratapa is located north of Diyala, and it is one of the disputed areas under the Iraqi constitution.

ISIS militants took control of Qaratapa in mid-June 2014, but the Peshmerga and the PMF retook control over the sub-district at the end of the same year.

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