Commander: Suicide attacks, abductions minimized in Iraq
Iraqi troops said to be controlling capital, with diminishing suicide attacks and kidnappings in the country.

Iraq has minimized suicide attacks and abductions across the country through security measures, Baghdad Operations Commander Abdul Amir al-Shammari said in an interview with The Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

"Baghdad Operations set up teams to fight kidnappers and have overthrown 12 gangs so far. Abductions decreased after the security measures," Lieutenant General Shammari said.

He also said around 15-20 explosions had been occurring per day across the country but no incidents have occurred in recent days.

Shammari said his forces had full control of the capital Baghdad at the end of their stiff battle with ISIL militants, who he said wanted to topple the regime.

"Initially, the militant group seemed to be approaching Baghdad, but they were pushed back. The forces also pacified the circles that fed the group in the capital," he said.

The commander said they created a strong defense line in Baghdad and nearly all regions encircling Baghdad, such as Fallujah and al-Taji, which were assisting terrorist groups.

He also said explosives provided to the group were produced in the Karma area, located near Baghdad, as well as a region close to Fallujah province.

The area had not been under control of army before, which meant it was easily seized by the ISIL militants who control large parts in Syria and Iraq, he said.

The Lieutenant General also said they would decrease the number of security checkpoints.

"We will focus on the checkpoints at the entrance of the capital and those inside the capital will be decreased," he said, adding that importance would be attached to intelligence.

Security in Iraq has deteriorated since June, when ISIL militants stormed the northern province of Mosul and declared what it calls a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

ISIL has become notorious for its demands that others convert to its faith, for its executions of those who refuse and for posting videos of beheadings of foreign captives.

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Last Modified: 2014-12-18 16:56:49
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