Bombs kills five Iraqi Kurdish fighters

Two roadside bombs struck a patrol in Iraq`s northern province of Nineveh on Monday, killing five Kurdish security forces members, a spokesman said.

AFP| Last Updated: Jun 23, 2014, 23:51 PM IST

Arbil: Two roadside bombs struck a patrol in Iraq`s northern province of Nineveh on Monday, killing five Kurdish security forces members, a spokesman said.

The blasts, which went off in the Rabia area near the Syrian border, also wounded three Kurdish security personnel, according to Halkurd Mulla Ali, spokesman for the ministry responsible for the Kurdish peshmerga forces.

A major militant offensive, spearheaded by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant but also involving other groups, has this month overrun large areas of five Iraqi provinces, including Nineveh.

Iraqi security forces wilted when faced by the onslaught, in some cases abandoning uniforms, positions and vehicles to flee.

Forces from Iraq`s Kurdish region took control of the Rabia border crossing between Nineveh and Syria after Iraqi forces withdrew in the early days of the militant drive.

The offensive has cleared the way for Iraqi Kurds to begin realising long-held territorial dreams, moving their forces into areas that the federal government has long opposed them adding to their autonomous northern region.

But this has also put Kurdish forces directly in the line of fire from militants.