Iraqi forces repel Samarra terror attack
Iraqi forces in the city of Samarra have foiled an effort by a notorious al-Qaeda-link terrorist group to wage an attack on one of the holiest sites of Shia Muslims.
A group of Takfiri militants affiliated with the terrorist group that calls itself “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) launched a major attack from several directions on the holy city on Thursday.
The city, which is nearly 120 kilometers north of Baghdad, is home to the holy shrines of two Shia Imams and a major pilgrimage site visited by tens of millions of Muslims annually despite the tense security situation in the area.
Clashes erupted between the ISIL militants and Iraqi security forces responsible for protecting the holy site, which has previously been targeted by a number of terrorist bombing attacks.
Reports from the city so far indicate that at least 25 Iraqi security forces and 20 civilians were injured during the armed clashes.
The foreign-sponsored ISIL terrorists are also active in neighboring Syria and have claimed responsibility for terror attack there as well as other atrocities against civilian population of areas under their occupation.
Top Iraqi officials have repeatedly blamed Saudi Arabia for funding and supplying Takfiri terrorists operating across the country. Saudi officials have never denied such charges.