ISIL unleashes wave of bombings as Iraqi forces close in on Mosul

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As Iraqi forces advanced on its stronghold in Mosul, Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) on April 4 carried out four bombings in separate locations that killed at least 29 people.

At least 14 people were killed in the southern province of Dhi Qar when an ISIL jihadist blew himself up inside a restaurant that is popular among Shi’ite paramilitary militia fighters. The bombing injured another 27 in the restaurant, which is located on the main highway that links Baghdad with the southern provinces, a police official said.

Scene of a suicide car bomb attack in Basra, Iraq on April 4. /AP
Scene of a suicide car bomb attack in Basra, Iraq on April 4. /AP

At least five people were killed and another 10 wounded when an ISIL jihadist set off his explosives-laden vehicle in a commercial area in Basra, about 340 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Another suicide bomber rammed his car into a security checkpoint in the northeastern Baghdad suburb of Sadr al-Qanat, killing six troops and wounding 13 others.

The fourth attack on April 4 hit a headquarters of paramilitary troops in the town of Mishahda, 20 miles north of Baghdad, killing four troops and wounding 10 others.

Over 1,100 Iraqis were killed and more than 1,500 wounded in March, a sharp increase from February, when 670 people were killed and 1,290 wounded, the United Nations reported. The figures include 575 civilians killed and another 1,196 wounded. The other casualties were Iraqi security forces, including Kurdish peshmerga forces and government-allied militiamen.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials said troops have recaptured a key village outside Mosul after days of heavy fighting.

Iraqi forces on April 4 retook the village of al-Nasr near the Tigris river after destroying six suicide car bombers that had tried to attack them, Lt. Col. Mohammed al-Wagaa said.

Al-Wagaa said a Sunni tribal leader, Sheikh Faris al-Sabawi, was killed by an ISIL sniper who stayed behind in the village. Al-Sabawi commanded hundreds of Sunni fighters and received aid from the Baghdad government.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said its consulate in Mosul was destroyed by U.S.-led coalition jets. The consulate had been occupied by ISIL fighters since they captured the city, the ministry said.

“Turkey’s views and approval were taken at all stages concerning the preparation and execution” of the operation, the ministry said on April 4.