Islamic State assault on natural gas plant in Taji, Iraq kills 14
Six workers among dead as militant group steps up attacks across Iraq
BAGHDAD—The Islamic State group launched a co-ordinated assault Sunday on a natural gas plant north of Baghdad that killed at least 14 people, according to Iraqi officials.
The attack started at dawn with a suicide car bomber hitting the main gate of the plant in the town of Taji, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Baghdad. Then several suicide bombers and militants broke into the plant and clashed with the security forces, an official said, adding that 27 troops were wounded. The dead included six civilians and eight security forces.
The IS-affiliated Aamaq news agency credited a group of “Caliphate soldiers” for the attack.
In a statement, Deputy Oil Minister Hamid Younis said firefighters managed to control and extinguish a fire caused by the explosions. Younis said technicians were examining the damage.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, three separate bomb attacks targeted commercial areasm killing at least eight civilians and wounding 28 others, police added.
Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
IS extremists still control significant areas in northern and western Iraq, including the second-largest city of Mosul. It has declared an Islamic caliphate on the territory it holds in Iraq and Syria.
The group has recently increased its attacks far from the front lines in a campaign that Iraqi officials say is an attempt to distract from their recent battlefield losses.
Since Wednesday, more than 100 people have been killed in a string of bombings in Baghdad and elsewhere.
—Associated Press writers Murtada Faraj in Baghdad and Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report