Bomb kills nine Iraqi soldiers during raid south of Baghdad
BAGHDAD - Reuters
In this Saturday, May 14, 2016 photo, An Iraqi flag, flowers and a black banner announcing the death of truck bomb victims, Mushtaq Talib Jassim Issa, 34, and his brother Dergahm Talib Jassim Issa, 32, with their photos hang on the burned barbershop in Baghdad's Sadr City, Iraq - AP photoNine Iraqi soldiers were killed and nine more wounded on May 18 when a house rigged with explosives blew up south of Baghdad during a raid of suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, two army sources said.
The army unit was responding to intelligence on a possible meeting of high-profile militant leaders at the house in Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of the capital, the sources said.
More than 170 people have been killed in blasts claimed by ISIL in and around Baghdad over the past week, including at least 77 in three attacks on May 17, in the deadliest spate of attacks in the city so far this year.
In a separate incident in Latifiya on May 18, an army officer was killed and three soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their Humvee, the army sources said.
Recent bombings have cranked up pressure on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is struggling to solve a political crisis sparked by his proposed cabinet reshuffle or risk losing control of parts of Baghdad to ISIL militants.
Away from the capital, Iraq's military is waging a counter-offensive against ISIL, which seized around a third of the country's territory in the north and west in 2014.