Suicide bombers kill seven in attack on Iraq power plant

#IraqatWar

No group claims responsibility for the attack in the central city of Samarra on important feast day

Iraqis look at the damage following a car-bomb blast in Baghdad's Shia-majority Sadr City on 28 August 2017 (AFP)
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Saturday 2 September 2017 14:22 UTC
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Suicide bombers killed seven people and wounded 12 in an attack on a power plant north of Baghdad on Saturday, an Iraqi security official said.

Armed with grenades and wearing explosives belts, three attackers entered the facility in Samarra, about 100km north of the capital, at 2:00 am, the official told AFP.

"They attacked the plant's workers, killing seven and wounding 12, according to an initial assessment," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Security reinforcements then arrived on the scene, killing two of the bombers and evacuating the employees.

The attack comes as Iraqi Shia mark the first day of the Eid al-Adha feast (Feast of the Sacrifice) marking the obedience of Ibrahim (Abraham) to Allah.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State militant group frequently carries out suicide bombings in Iraq.

In 2014, IS captured almost a third of Iraqi territory in a lightning offensive. It now only holds two pockets of territory in the country.

Iraqi government and paramilitary forces announced Friday plans to launch an assault to retake Hawija, the last Islamic State group's urban bastion in the country, a day after recapturing Tal Afar.

Iraqi forces have now forced IS out of all its Iraqi territories except the town of Hawija, 300km north of Baghdad, and three pockets of territory near the border with Syria.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the recapture of Tal Afar town and its surrounding areas, weeks after ousting the militants from Iraq's second city Mosul, bringing all of Nineveh province under government control.

"After the Tal Afar mission was successfully accomplished, the troops will head to Hawija," in oil-rich Kirkuk province, Iraq's Joint Operations Centre said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Popular Mobilisation Units, dominated by Iran-backed Shia militias, told AFP the offensive could be launched very soon.