Suicide Bombers In Iraq Packed Ambulances With Explosives

Two attacks killed 21 people in Tikrit and Samarra on Sunday

Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a bomb attack in Tikrit. — REUTERS
Nov 06, 2016 at 1:57 PM ET

Suicide bombers in the Iraqi cities of Tikrit and Sammara killed 21 people on Sunday using ambulances carrying explosives, officials said, according to Reuters.

In Tikrit, a bomber drove an ambulance into vehicles lined up at a checkpoint. In Sammara, an ambulance blew up in a car park for a Shiite shrine, the BBC reports.

More Iraq’s Anti-ISIS Robot Defends Mosul

The Islamic State claimed it was behind the attacks, which took place as the terror group battles Iraqi forces further north to maintain control of Mosul. ISIS has lost its grip on seven eastern districts of the city, and militants in those areas are seeking shelter among civilians, Reuters reported.

In a statement to The Independent, a World Health Organization spokesman denounced the use of ambulances as weapons. “When ambulances are suspected as potential security threats, their freedom of movement to care for the sick and injured is at risk of life-threatening delays,” the statement said. “Such delays will leave vulnerable people with even less access to life-saving medical care.”

“WHO is increasingly concerned by the continuous threats to health workers, facilities and transport,” it added.