BAGHDAD – Islamist fighters attacked a riverside town north of Baghdad on Monday with gunboats and a car bomb, killing 17 people and wounding 54, a security source said. The source said the attack on Dhuluiya, around 45 miles from the capital, was carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-sham (ISIS) before dawn and continued for two hours before the militants were pushed back. Among the dead in the attack were civilians and Iraqi forces. Most of the casualties were caused by the car bomb, which struck a market, the source said.
Dhuluiya is part of a belt of Sunni Muslim towns north of Baghdad where the hardline Sunni Muslim group has managed to wrestle some control, often aligning with local militia who distrust the Shiite-led government. ISIS fighters took advantage of the chaos in Iraq to muscle in and become the dominant force among Sunnis. President Barack Obama ordered air strikes in northern Iraq last month as Kurdish-controlled territory fell to the Islamic State and the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan looked in danger. These have since spread to central Iraq.
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