March 18, 2015 / 8:19 AM / in 3 years

Three Iraqis dead in explosion near Kuwaiti border: Kuwaiti news agency

BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - Three Iraqis were killed on Wednesday when a booby-trapped truck exploded in Iraq near the border with Kuwait, Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported.

The agency quoted Talib al-Hosuna, a local Iraqi official saying that five other people were wounded in the explosion at a garage near the main road about 12 km (7.5 miles) north of the Safwan border crossing with Kuwait.

Police sources in Iraq said the victims were civilians who died in an explosion from a truck trailer parked in a rest area some 10 km north of the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.

Iraqi authorities have been enforcing heightened security measures at the port, where no large vehicles are allowed in or out, the police sources said.

A witness said the explosion occurred in the morning aboard a trailer truck with license plates from Anbar province in western Iraq, where militants from the Islamic State operate.

The witness, who identified himself as Abu Ziad, said he was eating breakfast with other drivers at the rest area when a driver pulled in, disconnected the trailer and drove away.

“We heard a loud explosion, thought it was a tanker that exploded, then saw it was a trailer that blew up,” Abu Ziad said.

The Iraqi government has been battling Islamist militants who have seized large swathes of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Kuwait has been trying to reassure its citizens that the border with Iraq is secure. Earlier this week, the Interior Ministry’s top border security official led journalists on a tour of the area and said that there had been no sign of any breach of the border with Iraq.

Reporting by Aref Mohammed, Saif Hameed and Sami Aboudi; Editing by Noah Browning/Hugh Lawson

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