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Roadside bomb kills three Iraq soldiers

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Three Iraqi soldiers were killed yesterday when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle in farmland north of Baghdad, the Defence Ministry said.

There was no immediate claim for the bombing which targetted a patrol in the Tarmiya district, around 30 kilometres outside the capital.

The area is a known hotspot for Islamic State (IS) group sleeper cells, who remain active five years after Iraqi authorities proclaimed victory over the extremists.

A lieutenant-colonel was killed in the blast along with two of his men, the ministry said.

Three soldiers were also wounded, a separate security force statement added.

Tarmiya’s orchards and palm groves are criss-crossed by a network of irrigation channels that make the area an ideal hideout for militants.

Iraqi counter-terrorism units carry out regular search operations in the area in a bid to prevent it being used as a launchpad for attacks but the terrain favours the sleeper cells.