Islamic State Kills 24 Kurds

Islamic State Kills 24 KurdsIslamic State Kills 24 Kurds

Islamic State militants killed at least 24 members of the Kurdish security forces in a surprise attack in northern Iraq, Kurdish officials said, in one of the deadliest single battles for the Kurds since last summer.

Three Kurdish officers reported continued clashes with IS on Sunday, one day after the deaths, near Gwer, a town some 40km southwest of the autonomous Kurdish region's capital Erbil, Reuters reported. Kurdish-controlled Gwer is likely to be a launch-pad for any future attempt by Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake Mosul, the biggest city in northern Iraq which Islamic State seized last June.

The officer, who asked to remain anonymous, said a total of 60 militants had been killed and that by intercepting the frequency they used to communicate via walkie-talkie and listening in, it appeared many more were injured.

Both he and another officer blamed the Iraqi army for allowing the militants to reach Gwer. They accused Iraqi soldiers of abandoning a forward position when they came under attack, leaving the town exposed.