10 killed in Baghdad bomb attacks

10 killed in Baghdad bomb attacks
10 killed in Baghdad bomb attacks

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON: Separate bombings in the Iraqi capital killed 10 people and wounded another 22 on Friday, according to Iraqi officials.
The Baghdad attacks mainly targeted civilians and though there was no immediate claim of responsibility, they bore the hallmarks of Daesh in apparent efforts by militants to distract from the Iraqi forces’ major offensive in the northern city of Mosul.
Mosul is Iraq’s second-largest city and the Daesh militant group’s last major urban bastion in the country.
The casualty toll for Friday’s attacks was provided by police and hospital officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.
The operation to retake Mosul was launched in October and has been progressing slowly in recent weeks. Iraqi forces control less than a quarter of the city and have faced significant setbacks this week in Mosul’s southeast.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has continued to pledge that the city will be retaken by the end of the year but has also warned that Daesh will likely continue to launch insurgent style attacks in Iraq even after losing control of Mosul.
Meanwhile, a senior US military official for the first time says the US-led coalition has killed 50,000 Daesh militants in the last two years in Iraq and Syria.
The official said it was a conservative estimate, but it’s a bit more than what others have stated before. US leaders have expressed reluctance to disclose specific numbers, and note that Daesh has been able to replace fighters rapidly, particularly early on.
In August, Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland said about 45,000 combatants have been taken off the battlefields.
The official says coalition airstrikes could be more aggressive in places like Mosul, where Iraqi troops are battling to retake the city, but civilian casualties are a risk. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

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