On Thursday, a suicide bomber in Baghdad set off his explosives at a recruiting center of the military, killing 12 people. The attack was likely in retaliation for the government’s campaign in Iraq to retake two important cities in the north that are being held by militants linked to al-Qaeda.
The suicide bomber detonated this bomb outside the center in the area of Allawi, as volunteers waited to fill out registration forms inside. Twenty-five or more people were wounded said officials.
An official from a hospital confirmed the number of casualties, but spoke on the condition of anonymity due to them not being authorized to speak to members of the media.
No one claimed immediate responsibility for the blast, but these types of attacks are common for the Iraq branch of al-Qaeda, which is referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Members of the group last week were able to overtake parts of Ramadi and Fallujah two key cities in Anbar province to the west of Baghdad.
The militants were able to take control of military posts and police stations. They in turn freed prisoners and set up checkpoints of their own.
Iraqi troops helped by Sunni militiamen supporting the government have since clashed with the militants and have sent airstrikes as they attempt to retake the control of each city.
Tribal leaders from Fallujah, about 40 miles to the west of Baghdad warned the fighters from al-Qaeda to leave or face a military showdown.
The attack on Thursday at the recruiting center appeared to be retaliation for the offensive the military carried out and to dissuade new recruits from helping bolster the army.
The suicide attack followed an attack Wednesday night by gunman that struck an army barracks north of Baghdad that killed 12 soldiers.
The militants aided by their advances in the civil war in Syria have sought to place themselves as champions of the disenchanted Sunnis in Iraq against the government led by Shiite, even though the major tribes of Sunni in Anbar as well as elsewhere oppose the extremist ideology of the group and in certain places are fighting against it.