Refugee center shelled in Iraq's Saladin; 12 killed
At least 12 people were killed and dozens of others injured on Thursday when a reception center for displaced persons came under artillery fire in Iraq’s northern Saladin province, according to a local police source.

"Several mortar shells struck a reception center set up for people fleeing from Saladin’s Al-Shirqat district to the [army-held] northern town of Baiji," Police Captain Iyad al-Samarrai told Anadolu Agency.

Al-Samarrai added that 12 displaced people were killed in the barrage while another 35 were injured, some seriously.

Al-Samarrai went on to assert that the source of the artillery fire was the nearby Al-Shirqat district, which, he said, was currently under the control of the Daesh terrorist group.

Many Al-Shirqat residents have recently fled to Baiji, despite an army-imposed blockade imposed by the Iraqi army around the Daesh-held town.

Some two months ago, Iraqi security forces began a military campaign aimed at recapturing Al-Shirqat and the Al-Qayyarah area south of Mosul -- located in Iraq’s Nineveh province -- from the terrorist group.

Iraq’s overall security situation has deteriorated markedly since mid-2014, when Daesh captured Mosul -- Iraq’s second largest city -- and overran vast swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.

According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced in Iraq, while more than 10 million remain in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

Last Modified: 2016-08-19 07:14:48
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