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12 Dead in IS Attack on Iraq Villiage  12/03 06:14

   

   IRBIL, Iraq (AP) -- An attack by Islamic State militants on a village in 
northern Iraq killed at least 12 people, including a number of Kurdish forces, 
Kurdish media reported Friday.

   The attack took place late Thursday in a village in the Makhmour region, 
triggering a confrontation with Kurdish peshmerga forces. Among the dead were 
nine peshmerga and three civilians, private broadcaster Rudaw said on its 
website.

   Masrour Barzani, prime minister of the semi-autonomous Kurdish-run region, 
offered condolences to the families of the dead in a statement Friday. He said 
IS has become "a real threat" in territories disputed between the Kurdish 
region and the federal government in Baghdad.

   This requires "strong and firm cooperation between the Peshmerga, the Iraqi 
army and the (U.S.-led) international coalition as soon as possible," to stop 
IS expansion and organization.

   Makhmour is located across a band of disputed territory in northern Iraq 
where IS militants have exploited security gaps to launch attacks.

   There was no claim by Islamic State militants for Thursday night's attack 
and details were not immediately available.

   IS was defeated on the battlefield in 2017 but attacks targeting Iraqi 
security forces -- including Kurdish peshmerga fighters -- remain common. 
Militants are still active through sleeper cells in many areas, especially 
across a band of territory in the north under dispute between federal Iraq and 
the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.

   The U.S.-led coalition to defeat IS has announced the end of its combat 
mission and said troops will withdraw from Iraq by the end of December. 
Advisers will remain to continue to train Iraqi forces.

 
 
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