BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 22 people were killed in explosions across Iraq on Sunday, including a suicide car bomb attack on a military post in western Anbar province, police and medical sources said.
The deadliest attack came when a car packed with explosives was detonated at an army checkpoint near the town of al-Nukhaib, an outpost on the route to western neighbors Syria and Saudi Arabia, killing at least seven soldiers, the sources said.
“Deash terrorists used a suicide car bomb attack to distract our soldiers and then they clashed with soldiers, but we managed to repel the attack,” an army officer from Anbar operations command told Reuters, using a derogatory acronym for Islamic State.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, but Shi‘ite areas and government forces are often targeted by Sunni Islamist insurgents the government is struggling to dislodge from large sections of the north and west.
Another six people were killed and 17 others wounded when a car bomb went off near Khilani Square in central Baghdad, police and medical sources said.
Six more people were killed in bomb attacks in Baghdad’s predominantly Shi‘ite districts of Amil, Hussainiya and Bayaa, the sources said. A car bomb killed three people and wounded seven in the town of Mahmoudiya, about 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police sources said.
Elsewhere in Iraq, Islamic State militants attacked Baiji, the country’s largest refinery, on Saturday evening using mortars and machine guns fixed to pickup trucks, security officials said.
The assault came a day after the radical militants took partial control of a water dam and military barracks guarding it in Anbar and detonated three suicide car bombs at a border crossing between Iraq and Jordan.
“Daesh attacked the northern gate of the refinery, but we managed to repel the attack and prevented them from infiltrating our defenses,” an army officer from the refinery said by phone.
Reporting by Baghdad newsroom; editing by Ralph Boulton