ISIS militants kill senior police officer in restive Diyala

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By Salam Abedsammari

Azzaman, March 22, 2014

Militants have killed a senior police officer in an attack on a police headquarters in the restive Province of Diyala.

The officer Lt. Gen. Ragheb al-Umari was affiliated to a federal police force and was leading a contingent of security forces to aid local police fend off attacks by Jihadists from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or ISIS.

Diyala of which the city of Baquba is the provincial capital has been the scene of mounting violence in the past few months as ISIS Jihadists strive to turn it into one of their major springboards for attacks on Baghdad.

Baquba is only 50 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Diyala’s provincial police boss Jameel al-Shammari said Umari was killed “in a terrorist attack targeting a roving security center in the neighborhood of Injana in Baquba.”

Shammari vowed to avenge the death of Umari “who sacrificed his soul for the sake of Iraq.”

No details were given on the attack or the exact number of casualties but Diyala governor Amer Salman said many officers and soldiers were killed along with Umari.

Salman said ISIS was trying to turn his province into another Anbar where the Jihadists have captured parts of the provincial capital Ramadi and the strategic town of Falluja.

ISIS became a threat in central Iraq nearly three months when it turn Anbar province into a major stronghold for its operations.

Salman urged Prime Minister Noor al-Maliki to deploy more troops in Diyala and supply local police forces with advanced weapons to fight off ISIS.