Iraqi defense chief escapes assassination attempt


The Iraqi defense minister has escaped an assassination attempt in the country’s embattled northern province of Salahuddin, where unidentified militants opened fire on his convoy.

A source in the Iraqi Defense Ministry, requesting not to be named, told Arabic-language al-Sumaria satellite television network that Khalid al-Obeidi was on a visit to the Tal Abu Jarad area, which lies north of the provincial capital city of Tikrit, on Monday, when a sniper opened fire.

The source added one of Obeidi’s guards was wounded in the assault, but the minister himself was unharmed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. However, Iraqi officials usually blame such assaults on Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

Obeidi was touring the area to watch over military operations in the oil-rich city of Baiji, located some 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad.

Daesh kidnaps over 100 Iraqi children

Meanwhile, members of the Daesh Takfiri militant group have abducted more than 100 children from various districts of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The spokesman for the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Mosul, Saeed Mamouzini, said Daesh extremists have kidnapped 127 minors, aged between 11 and 15, over the past few days in the city, located some 400 kilometers (248 miles) north of Baghdad.

He added that the Takfiris have shifted the abductees to their training camps on the outskirts of Mosul, where they are being forced to undergo training to carry out acts of terror.

Separately, Daesh militants abducted 35 civilians in al-Khan village, located on the outskirts of Hawijah city, on Monday, alleging that they had burnt the terrorists’ black flag and called on Daesh elements to leave the area.

The terrorists later moved the abductees to an unknown location, and there is no information about their fate and whereabouts.

Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since the Daesh Takfiris launched an offensive in June 2014, and took control of portions of Iraqi territory.

The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.

Units of army soldiers and volunteer fighters are seeking to win back militant-held regions in joint operations.

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