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Amid battle with IS, suicide attacks kill 10 police in Iraq

Baghdad: Three near-simultaneous suicide car bombings on Friday targeted an Iraqi government compound and killed 10 policemen in Ramadi, where government forces are battling Islamic State militants, officials said.

The attack was part of a new push by the Islamic State group to capture areas still controlled by the government in Ramadi, the provincial capital of the western Anbar province.

The coordinated attack damaged part of the Anbar Police Headquarters building, killed the 10 policemen and also wounded at least seven, said a police officer. He added that two Humvees seized from the Iraqi army earlier were used in today’s attack.

Fighting was still underway around the Ramadi compound, which houses most of the city’s government offices, said Athal al-Fahdawi, an Anbar councilman.

Dozens of families were forced to flee their homes in the area, he added, appealing to the central government in Baghdad to send reinforcements.

“The situation in Ramadi is critical. If no enforcements are to arrive soon, the complex will fall into the hands of the IS fighters,” he told The Associated Press over the telephone from Ramadi.

Ramadi was a key stronghold of the insurgency in the US-led war in Iraq. It’s now mostly held by Iraqi government forces, although IS militants control some parts of it, mainly on the outskirts.

Iraq has seen a rapid and dramatic deterioration in the security situation after IS seized large swaths of the country’s west and north during a blitz last year.

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