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Several civilians killed during checkpoint incident following mortar attack south of Kirkuk

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At around 22:00 on 24 July, IS militants fired 4-6 mortar rounds that impacted near Dara Agha Village, located south of Daquq Town in southern Kirkuk Province. One civilian was killed, and three others were wounded as a result. Some of the mortar shells failed to detonate.

Shortly following this attack, a group of civilians vacated the area as a precaution against exposure to additional activity. The van, driven by an off-duty local police officer, approached Iftikhar Checkpoint near Highway 2. Federal Police members manning the checkpoint erroneously identified the vehicle as a potential threat, engaging the vehicle with small arms fire. At least six civilians as well as the ISF officer were killed, and one civilian identified as a young child was wounded. Other sources insisted that nine individuals were killed as a result of this incident.

The unfortunate incident at the checkpoint stands out as the deadliest checkpoint incident in the recent past. There is some potential for demonstrations in and around Daquq Town calling for the prosecution of individuals deemed negligent and the removal of local Federal Police commanders. Disruptions affecting Highway 2 are not particularly likely, but cannot be discounted.

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