BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 17 people were killed in and around the Iraqi capital on Monday in four bomb attacks, including a car bomb claimed by Islamic State militants, while rockets landed near Baghdad airport.
In a statement, the Sunni insurgent group said it had targeted Shi‘ite militiamen in the Ameen district of eastern Baghdad. Twelve people were killed and 42 people were wounded in the explosion, police and medical sources said.
The government is trying to dislodge the insurgents from large swathes of the country’s north and west, but advances have been slow, particularly in the western province of Anbar.
In Baghdad, two civilians were killed and seven others were wounded when a roadside bomb went off in the northern Shi‘ite neighborhood of Shaab, police and medics said.
There were also blasts in predominately Sunni areas, the sources said. In Latifiya, about 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, a bomb killed two people. Another blast near an army patrol in al-Mashada, on the capital’s northern outskirts, left a soldier dead and four wounded.
Three civilians were also wounded when a rocket landed in the western district of al-Shula, police and medics said. There were no claims of responsibility for the smaller bombs, but Baghdad Operations Command blamed Islamic State for the rocket attack.
The military command center said in a Facebook post it had discovered rocket launchers on two large trucks in the Taji area northwest of the capital which it said had been used to fire several Katyusha rockets towards Camp Victory military base near Baghdad airport.
The capital has also witnessed a recent wave of kidnappings and attacks on government officials and civilians.
Earlier in the day, gunmen shot and killed a local official along with his son and nephew in the town of Tarmiya, about 25 km (15 miles) north of Baghdad, police and medics said.
The government has been struggling to rein in Shi‘ite militias, seen as critical forces against Islamic State, or control criminal gangs carrying out contract killings, kidnappings and extortions.
Reporting by Saif Hameed; Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Dominic Evans and Cynthia Osterman