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Attack against joint checkpoint in northeastern Diyala

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Hotspots of northeastern Diyala hosted a familiar attack. At 20:25 on 31 January, IS militants armed with light and medium weapons including sniper rifles and PKM machineguns attacked Bawa Mahmoud Checkpoint, located northwest of Khanaqin. The position is jointly manned by Kurdish Asayish and Iraqi Police personnel. No casualties were reported over the course of clashes lasting 20 minutes. Conflicting reports cited more extensive clashes between 22:00 and 01:00. Some reported cited a pair of attacks in possible clarification. At least 12 IS-initiated direct fire attacks were reported in the restive Khanaqin District over the course of January. This count was consistent with 11 the preceding month, which included another attack against Bawa Mahmoud Checkpoint on 22 December.

Active IS threats were also reported in eastern Salah ad Din. On 31 January, IS militants armed with light weapons including RPGs attacked Iraqi Army positions in Asiriyah area and an area near Tuz Gas Factory, located west of Tuz Khurmatu. Other limited reporting cited an IS attack against PMF at Hulaywa Airport. No casualties were initially reported in either of the events, with additional confirmation required. Limited attacks in western and southern outskirts of Tuz Khurmatu remain common an intermittent basis, particularly during hours of darkness. This remains a peripheral consideration for transit along the Tuz – Tikrit Road.

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