After midnight on 12 March, IS gunmen armed with suppressed weapons, wearing military uniforms, and travelling in two vehicles, raided at least one house in Albu Dur village, located in an agricultural area south of Tikrit city. The gunmen killed seven members of a family including five men and two women. One wounded individual later died, raising the total number of fatalities to eight. Additional reports indicated the gunmen raided 2-3 houses, with one of the victims identified as a policeman, and another identified as a lawyer.
The Security Media Cell (SMC) initially confirmed that terrorists killed four men and two women from one family in their home. The SMC did not confirm the targeted individuals’ affiliations amongst few further details. IS-affiliated Amaq News Agency stated that IS fighters killed six PMF-affiliated spies including two women, as well as a police officer, after storming their two houses. IS claimed they also killed a lawyer after raiding a third houses. Similar claims describing targeted individuals as informants and off-duty security personnel are historically common. While some of the victims may have possessed security affiliations, IS did not refrain from executing additional unaffiliated civilians.
This incident forms one of the deadliest IS attacks in Iraq since the 21 January dual-suicide bombings in Baghdad, which killed at least 32 individuals, the 23 January attack against PMF in eastern Salah ad Din province, which killed as many as 13 PMF members, and the 28 February vehicle borne IED detonation in western Anbar province, which killed eight security personnel. In a key caveat, the vehicle borne IED incident was subject to controversy over whether the device was a legacy explosive hazard or a recently emplaced device. In short, while IS certainly remained active following the milestone attacks in January, the organization struggled to execute headlining attacks with regularity due to significant security responses including an operation that killed the IS governor of Iraq.
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