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Iraqi soldiers die in attack on army base

Iraq- image source handedemire

Iraq- image source handedemire

AT LEAST 42 members of Iraq’s security forces have been killed in a suicide bombing on an army base north of Fallujah, Al Jazeera has learnt.

The attack was carried out with an explosives-laden armoured Humvee vehicle, which exploded near a weapons depot at the base, military sources told Al Jazeera.

Witnesses said ammunition stored in the depot continued to explode several hours after the initial attack, which occurred at 3am local time yesterday.

Local officials said the death toll of the attack was likely to rise.

The attack came a day after Haider al-Abbadi, Iraq’s prime minister, acknowledged the loss of about 2,300 Humvee armoured vehicles when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group overran the northern city of Mosul last year.

Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said that the loss of the vehicles has had a devastating effect as the Iraqi army has struggled to cope with a wave of subsequent car bombings.

In a separate incident yesterday, 12 civilians were killed and another 18 injured in an air strike targeting a mosque and a popular market in Fallujah, which lies 50km east of Anbar province’s state capital of Ramadi, local sources told Al Jazeera.

Also yesterday, at least 33 Iraqi soldiers and allied militia fighters were killed in an ambush by ISIL fighters in Seddiqiya in Anbar province.

More than 40 others were injured in the attack in the town east of the provincial capital Ramadi, military sources told Al Jazeera.

For its part, the Iraqi defence ministry said fighter jets had carried out fresh air strikes on ISIL targets in Anbar and Salahuddin provinces.

The ministry released a video of the raids and said in a statement that many ISIL fighters were killed while equipment and buildings used as headquarters were destroyed.

The footage, released late on Sunday, is said to be filmed from an aircraft over Anbar, where the Iraqi air force is supporting the ground offensive against ISIL.

Last month, the Iraqi government declared the start of a major offensive to recapture areas under the control of ISIL group in Anbar.

The announcement came after the government suffered a humiliating defeat in Ramadi.

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