At least seven people have lost their lives and 30 others sustained injuries when a powerful car bomb explosion struck a main road in Iraq's north-central province of Salahuddin.
Provincial police source Mohammed al-Bazi said the blast took place at around noon on Wednesday, when a booby-trapped car parked in front of a restaurant frequently visited by passengers while travelling on the main road north of the provincial capital city of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of Baghdad, went off.
Bazi added the massive explosion set seven nearby civilian cars ablaze and badly damaged several others. It destroyed large part of the restaurant as well.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Daesh Takfiri militant group has been responsible for such attacks in most cases, targeting markets, cafes and mosques across Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged on June 30 to hunt down Daesh terrorists across Iraq after a series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist group.
“We will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi said.
Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.
On July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.
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