BAGHDAD (AP) — Bomb and mortar fire attacks killed ten people in Shiite areas in and around Baghdad on Sunday, as Iraqi security forces said they succeeded in breaking a siege on soldiers who had been surrounded by Islamic State militants west of Baghdad.
Police officials said three mortar shells landed on a residential area in Sabaa al-Bour, a town just north of Baghdad, killing six, including a 12-year old-boy. Several cars were damaged in the attack, which wounded 17. Later, a bomb blast in a commercial street killed four people and wounded 11 in the capital’s northeastern district of Shaab.
Medical officials confirmed the casualty tolls. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
Attacks against Shiite civilians are common tactics used by Islamic State militant group, which considers Shiites heretics. The group has captured large chunks of territory in western and northern Iraq.
Meanwhile, Army spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said Sunday that Iraqi security forces overnight were able to break the siege on about 400 soldiers who were surrounded by Islamic State militants three days ago in an area in Sunni-dominated Anbar province. He did not elaborate.
The soldiers had been trapped in the Sijir area near the city of Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad.
Islamic militants later launched attacks involving suicide bombers on the Iraqi troops in Sijir, and clashes erupted, causing unspecified casualties, said security officials who were not authorized to speak to the media.
Sunni fighters took control of Fallujah earlier this year, and government forces have been unable to take it back.
Associated Press writer Qassim Abdul-Zahra contributed reporting.