‘Islamic State’ group claims Iraq suicide bombings
BAGHDAD - Three Islamic State suicide bombers, including a Frenchman, have detonated explosives-laden trucks in coordinated attacks on Iraqi troops and Shiite militia, destroying their targets, the jihadist group said Wednesday.
The attacks were carried out near Camp Speicher, 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of Baghdad in Salaheddin province, said claims on Twitter, seen by SITE Intelligence Group.
IS said a "gathering of the Safavid (Iraqi) army and its Rafidhi (Shiite) militias," a barracks and a headquarters, all on the road connecting "Speicher Base/Fourth Division" were hit with a truck carrying six tonnes of explosives.
Each of the explosions resulted in the "complete destruction and elimination" of the target, it added.
Photos showed smiling young men, each with their right index finger pointing upward in a gesture referring to the unity of God.
They were named as Abul Talha al-Firansi, the Frenchman; Abu Omar al-Qatari, from Qatar and Abu Ukasha al-Shami, from Syria.
Others photos showed what appeared to be explosions.
Camp Speicher, outside the city of Tikrit, was the scene of a June massacre in which nearly 1,700 soldiers died during an IS sweep in which the jihadist group seized large swathes of Iraq's north and west.
The US government estimates that IS has about 20,000 fighters, some 3,400 of which are believed to be foreigners.
In January, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said a total of 73 of his countrymen had died in "terrorist operations" in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.