World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Police First Lieutenant Nasser al-Hanoun said that the bomber had driven his explosives-laden vehicle into a convoy of Hashd al-Shaabi militiamen as it passed along Al-Yousifiya’s international highway.
The Hashd al-Shaabi is an umbrella group of pro-government Shia militia groups established in 2014 to fight the ISIL extremist group.
Casualties from Monday’s suicide bombing include Hashd al-Shaabi fighters and army and police personnel, along with civilians.
As of midday, no group had yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Earlier the same day, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi warned that ISIL would likely carry out attacks in government-controlled areas to coincide with a broad army operation -- which officially kicked off early Monday -- aimed at clearing Iraq’s northern city of Mosul of extremist elements.