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Iraq says it busted ISIS Baghdad bombing network

16 March 2015, 07:01

Baghdad - Iraqi intelligence said on Sunday it had arrested 31 members of the Islamic State group who were responsible for planning and carrying out 52 attacks in Baghdad.

It said in a statement that the operation was conducted in coordination with the security forces and the judiciary.

It "resulted in the dismantling of terrorist groups linked to what is known as Wilayat Baghdad [Baghdad province], a part of the terrorist group Daesh," the statement said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The intelligence service said the 31 people arrested are ISIS members from all parts of Baghdad, as well as areas south and north of the capital.

"They confessed to 52 terrorist acts in different areas of our beloved Baghdad in 2014 and early 2015," the statement said.

It said "large quantities of arms, [explosive] belts, silencers, rigged cars and motorcycles, statements, videos of their cowardly operations" were seized.

The statement does not say exactly when the arrests were made but the spokesperson for the intelligence service suggested they were last month.

Also read: Turkey arrests 3 UK teens trying to join ISIS

"The reason for the decrease in attacks in Baghdad over the past three weeks is the arrest of this network," Fahim al-Atraqchi told AFP.

The number of attacks in Baghdad, which at one point last year used to be rocked by car bombs almost every day, has dropped this year.

In October, Iraqi federal and allied forces expelled ISIS fighters from the Jurf al-Sakhr area, which lies only 50km to the south of the capital.

Early this year, they took back all of Diyala province, which lies to the northeast, allowing Baghdad to breathe more comfortably.

The years-old nightly curfew on Baghdad was lifted last month.


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