IS claims attack on police station in Iraq's Samarra
Gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a police station in the Iraqi city of Samarra Monday, sparking clashes with the security forces, officials said.
"There was a terror attack on Mutawakil police station, now the Iraqi forces are besieging them," interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan told reporters.
The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack in central Samarra, a city 70 miles north of Baghdad, via its propaganda agency Amaq.
Maan said the attackers holed up inside the police station were exchanging fire with the security forces besieging them.
A police major from Salaheddin province where Samarra is located said five attackers had already been killed and added that reinforcements had been deployed.
Samarra is home to a major Iraqi security headquarters and to an important Shia shrine where a 2006 bombing sparked two years of sectarian bloodletting.
IS in Iraq is mostly focused on defending its last major urban stronghold of Mosul, but has launched a number of diversionary attacks elsewhere in the country since the start on 17 October of a broad offensive by the security forces to retake the northern city.
Meanwhile, a British soldier in district of Taji, north of Baghdad, died on Monday, but the UK ministry of defence said the death was not the result of "enemy activity", BBC reported.