The attacker, driving a Humvee vehicle packed with explosives and likely stolen from defeated government troops, also wounded 60 Shi'ite militiamen, who had helped government forces retake the town just south of the capital.
Holding Jurf al-Sakhar is critical for Iraqi security forces who finally managed to drive out the Sunni insurgents after months of fighting.
It could allow Iraqi forces to prevent the Sunni insurgents from edging closer to the capital Baghdad, sever connections to their strongholds in western Anbar province, and stop them infiltrating the mainly Shi'ite Muslim south.
The group has threatened to march on Baghdad, home to special forces and thousands of Shi'ite militias expected to put up fierce resistance if the capital comes under threat.
Gains against Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot made up of Arab and foreign fighters, are often fragile even with the support of U.S. airstrikes on militant targets in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
As Iraqi government soldiers and militias savored their victory and were taking photographs of Islamic State corpses on Sunday, mortar rounds fired by Islamic State fighters who had fled to orchards to the west rained down on Jurf al-Sakhar.
The blast hit the militiamen, killing dozens and scattering body parts, according to a Reuters witness. (Continue Reading.)
Monday, October 27, 2014
ISIS Suicide Bomber Kills 27, Injures 60
ISIS rapidly replenishes its forces through an influx of volunteers from around the world, while the local opposition struggles to survive.