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ISF interdict and clear a vehicle borne IED west of Baghdad

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On the early morning of 27 May, ISF intercepted a vehicle borne IED at a temporary checkpoint in the Khirnabat area on the Abu Ghraib-Baghdad Road (Highway 97), located west of Baghdad. The device was reportedly travelling from Abu Ghraib towards Baghdad when halted by security forces at the checkpoint. The vehicle was apparently identified as a potential threat, with the driver arrested. The device was subsequently rendered safe via a controlled detonation, with no casualties reported. No significant alterations in security posture were reported as a result of this incident. Security sources did not initially cite this event as an intelligence-driven interdiction, with opportunistic circumstances likely. No images were released, and no specific description of the vehicle and device composition were discussed.

The 27 May interdiction swiftly follows two effective vehicle borne IED detonations. In Anbar Province, on 23 May, a vehicle borne IED detonation in Al Qaim killed two individuals and wounded one other. Shortly following this incident, on 26 May, a vehicle borne IED detonated at a market in Tal Uwaynat Village, located north of Tal Afar. Five civilians were killed, and eight others were wounded. These loosely coordinated incidents are illustrative of elevated IS attack intent during the Ramadan holy month. The intended target of this botched incident is difficult to judge. Given the direction of travel and established patterns during Ramadan, vibrant commercial areas or religious shrines in Shi’a dominated districts in Baghdad are assessed as most likely.

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