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IS Launch Five Suicide Bomb Attacks in Iraq Central City of Samarra

© Sputnik / Andrey Stenin / Go to the mediabankFlag of the Islamic State in the conflict zone in Latakia, Syria
Flag of the Islamic State in the conflict zone in Latakia, Syria - Sputnik International
Islamic State (IS) militants carried out five suicide bomb attacks on checkpoints in Samarra, Iraq.

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MOSCOW, January 8 (Sputnik) — Islamic State (IS) militants launched five suicide bomb attacks at checkpoints in the Iraqi central city of Samarra on Thursday, the BBC reported.

The extremist militants carried out five suicide bomb attacks on checkpoints in Samarra followed by a mortar attack in the city, killing at least three people and wounding over 20 others, as reported by the news outlet.

According to the BBC, the militants retreated after Iraqi warplanes launched fire, after hours of fighting with security forces.

Members of the Iraqi security forces carry their weapons during an intensive security deployment on the outskirts of Baiji, north of Baghdad, December 8, 2014. - Sputnik International
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Samarra is a majority Sunni Muslim city but is a home to one of the Shia Muslims' holiest sites. The Sunni IS group initially launched attacks in Samarra in June 2014, but were prevented from occupying the city by government forces and Shia militiamen.

Prior to that, in 2006 al-Qaeda attacked the al-Askari shrine in Samarra, one of the most important Shia shrines in the world. Since then Samarra has remained prone to sectarian violence.

The Sunni IS group began fighting the Syrian government in 2012, later expanding its operations to Iraq. IS considers Shia shrines to be blasphemous and has attacked several holy sites in the territories under its control in both countries.

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