On the morning of 25 March, according to the Diyala Police Chief Major General Faisal Abadi and other security sources, ISF found and cleared a vehicle borne IED during a search operation near Hafayr Village, located in a rural area east of Muqdadiyah in southwestern Khanaqin District. Major General Faisal Abadi further stated that the device was prepared for a terrorist attack intended for an unspecified area, though accurate intelligence resulted in its discovery and subsequent clearance.
Security officials in Diyala remain apt to embellishing the nature of security successes in the province, particularly the stated impact and supporting intelligence. Vehicle borne IED activity was historically common in Diyala Province, but associated threat levels dropped decisively in conjunction with the conclusion of major anti-IS operations in 2017. A vehicle borne IED detonation has not been noted in the province since an incident while a device was in transit on Highway 2 in an area north of Baqubah on 10 June 2017. Even low-level reported interdictions have been absent following 2017.
The vehicle borne IED discovered on 25 March was found in rural complex terrain along the historically active Hamrin Mountain corridor. In conjunction with the lack of images depicting device composition, it is initially likely this incident involved the discovery of a legacy vehicle borne IED or other lackluster circumstances. Associated activity patterns will be closely monitored following this isolated event. In the meantime, it is important to be skeptical of this incident as an indicator of revitalized vehicle borne IED threats in Diyala Province.