4 policemen killed in Iraq blast

Tikrit (Iraq):Four Iraqi policemen were killed in a bomb explosion in Iraq’s Salahudin province on Saturday, officials said.

The incident occurred early morning when a roadside bomb struck a police patrol near Shirqat city, 280 km north of Iraqi capital Baghdad, destroying a police vehicle and killing four policemen in it, Colonel Mohammed al-Jubouri was cited as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Iraqi security forces launched an investigation into the incident and carried out a search operation in the area looking for the attackers, Jubouri said.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, which came despite repeated operations by Iraqi security forces to clear the areas around Shirqat of the remnants of the Islamic State (IS) militants.

Earlier, hundreds of IS militants fled their former bases in the key cities of Salahudin province, including the provincial capital Tikrit, after the Iraqi forces cleared these areas during major anti-IS offensives.

Late in 2017, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants after the country’s forces recaptured the areas once seized by the extremist group.

However, remnants of IS militants are carrying out almost daily attacks against civilians and Iraqi forces.