A suicide bomber has killed 23 Iraqi army recruits in Baghdad. The attack was on men joining the government’s fight to expel al Qaeda-linked militants in Anbar provence on Thursday, a day after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said he would eradicate the “evil” of al Qaeda and its allies.
Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government asked for volunteers to join the military effort against al Qaeda. The group has strengthened recently in Sunni-dominated areas like Anbar.
Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took control of Falluja and parts of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, last week.
According to one lieutenant, who did not wish to be named, “the security situation in Abu Ghraib is good, and we have police stations close to Falluja. There are new checkpoints set up and more security members were deployed there. Also Iraqi army troops are there, it is good, thanks to God,” he said.
Also on Thursday, a suicide car bomber attacked a
checkpoint in eastern Ramadi, killing three special forces soldiers and wounding four.
Iraqi government troops are poised for a major assault to re-take Fallujah.
Recent fighting in Ramadi and Fallujah is the heaviest seen in Iraq in years.