At least three people were killed and 11 others wounded in a car bomb explosion near a restaurant in the west of the city of Mosul, the capital of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, a local police source said Thursday.
The attack occurred at night when a booby-trapped car went off near Abu Layla popular restaurant, as security members used to have their dinner, Major Hussein al-Baiyati, from Nineveh Operation Command, told Xinhua.
The huge blast destroyed part of the restaurant and badly damaged several nearby buildings and civilian cars, Baiyati said.
The security forces sealed off the scene and cordoned off the surrounding areas in case of further attacks, Baiyati added.
In a statement, Yahya Rasoul, spokesman of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, said the car bombing killed two people and injured 11 others, also damaging some nearby vehicles.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State (IS) militant group, in most cases, is responsible for such attacks, targeting security forces and areas where crowds of people gather, including markets, cafes and mosques across Iraq.
Earlier, Mohammed al-Jubouri, from the intelligence service of Iraq's northern-central province of Salahudin, told Xinhua that IS militants are creeping back with new plots into parts of northern and central Iraq, nearly 10 months after the government declared victory over the extremist group.
The IS elements "have re-organized themselves and prepared logistically to carry out a long-term war of attrition against the Iraqi security forces," Jubouri said.
On Dec. 9, 2017, Iraq declared victory over IS group after the Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the extremist group.
However, groups and individuals of IS militants melted in urban areas or regrouped in deserts and rugged areas. They are still capable of carrying out attacks against the security forces and civilians despite operations from time to time to hunt them down.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)