Ramadi : A suicide bomber blew up a vehicle in the town of Al-Qaim in western Iraq on Wednesday, killing at least 11 people, five of them security personnel, police said.

The 9 am bombing at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Al-Qaim also wounded 16 people — 11 civilians and five security personnel, police Captain Mahmud Jassem told AFP. The town, on the Syrian border some 340 kms from Baghdad, was one of the last in Iraq to be recaptured from the Islamic State group in November last year.

One month later, PM Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the jihadists.

But since then, the security forces have announced a number of campaigns to flush out holdout IS fighters from sparsely populated areas from which they have continued to mount attacks.

The vast desert that straddles the border with Syria on either side of the Euphrates valley town of Al-Qaim has been one the jihadists’ principal hideouts.

Philippines hunts for bombers

Sultan Kudarat: Philip­pine authorities were hunting on Wednesday two men believed to have planted the explosives that killed two people, including a young girl, at a festival in the nation’s south. The blast on Tuesday in Isulan, which hurt 35 others, is the second deadly bombing in less than a month in the region where Islamist militants have waged a decades-long insurgency.

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