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The New Arab

Major IS assault on Baghdad suburb repelled

A local curfew has been imposed but the situation is now "under control" [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 February, 2016

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Iraqi forces repel further advances by Islamic State militants after the group infiltrated Abu Ghraib district on the suburbs of Baghdad on Sunday morning.
An attack by the Islamic State group on the suburb of Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad's city centre, was repelled by Iraqi security forces, officials said on Sunday.

The militant group launched an assault which included multiple suicide car-bombings on the district on Sunday morning.

IS fighters entered the area after having captured the town of Khan Dari, a mere 51 kilometres [32 miles] from Baghdad's international airport.

"At 5am, IS militants broke into Baghdad from al-Karma city in Fallujah, where clashes between the militants and Iraqi forces had taken place for several months," witnesses told The New Arab.

"The group managed to break through Iraqi army lines to reach the heart of Abu Ghraib," witnesses added.

The attack started with three suicide car bombers hitting a security force barracks and was followed by an exchange of gunfire.

"IS reached Khan Dari and clashed with the forces there," witnesses told The New Arab. "They attacked with tens of militants and used car bombs and heavy weapons."

At least eight government and paramilitary forces were killed and 22 wounded.

Reinforcements make their way to Abu Ghraib 

Reinforcements from Iraq's ground forces were sent out into the surrounding area to flush out pockets of IS fighters still remaining.
 
A local curfew has been imposed but the situation is now "under control", the commander of military operations in western Baghdad, General Saad Harbiya said.

The district of Abu Ghraib was site of a notorious Saddam-era prison which subsequently gained further infamy following revelations of major human rights abuses by US troops against Iraqi prisoners.

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