Armed terrorists affiliated with ISIS attacked Al-Rashad, a village in Iraq’s Diyala province, on Tuesday evening, according to security personnel in the area. Iraq Joint Operations Command reported that the attack resulted in the killing of at least 11 civilians. However, by Wednesday morning, the death toll had risen to 15.
Eyewitnesses say that women and children were among those killed in the attack.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi reacted to the attack on Twitter on Wednesday morning. “We stand firm on our pledge that we will continue to chase terrorists inside and outside Iraq. The Miqdadiya (the city where Al-Rashad village is located) crime will not go unpunished. Their heinous crimes strengthen our determination to uproot them from Mesopotamia.”
Similarly, Iraqi President Barham Salih described the attack in a tweet on Tuesday evening as “a despicable attempt to destabilize the country” and called for unity in the face of “the threat of ISIS.”
Diyala is situated about 90 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. Diyala is considered to be a part of the “Triangle of Death” along with the Salahaddin and Kirkuk provinces. ISIS maintains its presence in the area and conducts frequent attacks targeting Iraqi security personnel and civilians.
According to certain sources, ISIS claimed on its Telegram propaganda channel that its members targeted Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Diyala prior to Tuesday’s attack. The attack allegedly killed a PMF member and injured two others.