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Islamic State claims suicide attack on Iraq police that killed 37

BAGHDAD: The Islamic State jihadist group has claimed a suicide attack on an Iraqi police base north of Baghdad that killed at least 37 people.

A Somali man detonated an explosives-rigged armoured vehicle inside the base, while a Tajik and a Syrian blew up a Humvee and a truck in the area, IS said in an online statement.

The Monday attack — which officers said also wounded more than 30 people — was against a federal police base between Samarra and Tharthar lake.

The area is being used in a military operation aimed at cutting off IS’s supply lines in Anbar, a province west of Baghdad where the jihadists overran the city of Ramadi last month.

IS fighters have over the past year seized a formidable arsenal of military vehicles, weapons and ammunition from retreating Iraqi forces as they swept through much of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.

Iraqi security forces have in recent days successfully repelled several suicide attacks involving explosives-laden vehicles thanks to anti-tank systems, but not all forces have access to those weapons.

The attack on the police base came a day before members of the US-led coalition carrying out air raids against IS and providing training and weapons to Iraqi forces held talks in Paris on a string of major battlefield gains by the jihadists in Iraq and Syria. – AFP

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