Double suicide bombing kills at least 9 in ISIS-besieged Iraq town

Story highlights

Town was taken over by ISIS in June, but police and local tribe regained control of part of it

Residents of Dhuluiya say since then, ISIS has attacked relentlessly

Monday, suicide bombers hit the downtown market area, killing at least 9

Residents say Iraqi government offers only "empty promises," call on U.S. for help

Baghdad, Iraq CNN  — 

A Sunni town north of Baghdad that has been surrounded by ISIS for more than two months came under heavy attack on Monday, local police and residents said.

At about 9 a.m., a suicide bomber in a seized military Humvee struck a dirt berm that was built as part of the defenses around the southern part of Dhuluiya.

The bombing cleared the way for a second suicide bomber in another Humvee to drive into the center of the town and strike the market area.

At least nine people were killed and more than 70 others were wounded in the two bombings. .

Shaalan al-Jibouri, a resident of Dhuluiya and a local journalist, explained the situation to CNN from inside the town.

He said ISIS seized the town in June, but on June 18, the al-Jibour tribe, along with the local police, pushed ISIS out of the southern part of the town and took control of the area, while ISIS remained in control of the northern part.

Since June, al-Jibouri said, the southern part of Dhuluiya has been besieged and under constant attack by ISIS. Local officials have counted 72 attacks, including hundreds of mortar and artillery shell strikes.

The attack on Monday, he said, was the worst since the ISIS offensive began.

On July 16, he said, ISIS blew up a vital bridge connecting Dhuluiya to the predominantly Shiite town of Balad about 10 kilometers (6 miles) to the west.

Al-Jibouri said the bridge was a lifeline for the town and even though Balad is a Shiite town, its local officials and residents have supported and assisted residents of Dhuluiya throughout the siege.

He described a dire humanitarian situation in the part of Dhuluiya that has no medical care and having to move people to Balad for treatment there.

The destruction of the bridge has forced them to use small boats to move the injured and get supplies, which has been very difficult, he said.

Al-Jibouri said the people of his town and its police force are determined to continue the fight, with women and young boys taking up arms to defend their home.

“We lived through a bitter experience in 2006 under these people. They did not distinguish between security forces and civilians. They massacred people then and they will do it again. … We will not allow them to enter the town. Dhuluiya will continue its resistance until the last breath, over our dead bodies will they enter this town.”

Al-Jibouri’s wife and 16-year-old daughter were wounded when an artillery shell hit close to their home last week.

He said local officials have repeatedly asked for government support but have received only “empty promises.”

“In the name of humanity we call on President Obama, who says they are the protectors of humanity – where are your planes, your missiles?”

“Why this terrorism, why are our children being killed, our homes destroyed? We call on the American people to pressure their government to help us.”

A number of people in the room with him also said they want the United States to help them, saying even if it’s American troops, “we welcome them.”

They accused the Iraqi government of a double standard, apparently a reference to the fact that about a week ago, Iraqi troops broke the ISIS siege in the town of Amerli, which is predominantly Shiite.

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