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The New Arab

Seven villagers killed in suspected IS attack near Baghdad

Iraqi forces carry out a counter-IS operation in Tarmiyah, northern Baghdad [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 May, 2018

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Seven people were killed and dozens more injured after gunmen ambushed a village north of Baghdad on Tuesday night, in a suspected pre-election attack by the Islamic State group.
Tight security controls were rolled out across the Tarmiyah region north of the Iraqi capital on Wednesday morning following a terrorist attack in which gunmen opened fire indiscriminately on civilians in the village of Ramadan, killing seven and wounding 14 others.

A source from inside the Iraqi interior ministry told The New Arab that a large group of army and police officers were sent to Tarmiyah and its surrounding villages at dawn on Wednesday, in order to deter any further militant attacks.

The source added that the reinforced security presence was a result of a surprise militant attack carried out on Tuesday night, during which gunmen managed to exploit a weak spot in the Tarmiyah security force, committing a massacre in which dozens of innocent civilians were killed and injured.

He added that the tightened security presence, which also includes surveillance helicopters, will continue for a number of days until the possibility of another surprise attack is completely ruled out.

The Iraqi Security Information Centre issued a statement denying any presence of the Islamic State group in the Tarmiyah region, adding that the security presence was to deter and prosecute "criminal gangs" in the area.

The statement added that a number of members of terrorist sleeper cells north of Baghdad had been killed in response to the attack.

The attack, in which villagers allegedly had to use their own weapons to fend off the assailants, has been the biggest to hit the Baghdad region in months after a period of relative stability.

IS has however issued warnings it would target Iraq in the run-up to parliamentary elections scheduled to take place on the May 12.

Despite Iraqi President Haider al-Abadi twice declaring "victory" over IS, the country still experiences frequent attacks as the extremist group attempts a resurgence after losing a vast majority of territory in recent years.

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