Dozens killed in attacks in Iraq, Yemen
BAGHDAD / SANAA – The Associated PressThe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched a coordinated assault May 15 on a natural gas plant north of Baghdad that killed at least 14 people, while a suicide bomber also killed 25 in the southern Yemeni city of Mukalla.
In Iraq, a suicide car bomber hit the main gate of the plant in Taji, about 20 kilometers north of Baghdad. Several bombers and militants then broke into the plant and clashed with security forces, an official said.
The ISIL-affiliated Aamaq news agency credited a group of “Caliphate soldiers” for the attack.
In a statement, Iraqi Deputy Oil Minister Hamid Younis said firefighters managed to control and extinguish a fire caused by the explosions. Younis said technicians were examining the damage.
Some 27 troops were wounded in the attack, an official said.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, three separate bomb attacks targeted commercial areas killing at least eight civilians and wounding 28 others, police added.
Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
On the same day, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives among policemen standing in line outside a police base in Mukalla, killing 25, security and health officials said.
At least 17 more people were injured in the attack and the officials said the death toll was likely to rise further.
The Yemeni affiliate of ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on social media networks by sympathizers of the group.
The May 15 victims were policemen returning to work for the first time since last month’s recapture of Mukalla by forces of the internationally recognized government. The port city had been held for more than a year by Yemen’s local al-Qaeda affiliate.
The victims also included young men applying for jobs with the city’s local police, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The blast came a week after ISIL in Yemen claimed responsibility for an explosion that struck a navy base also in Mukalla, killing at least six soldiers.