The UN Security Council has condemned terrorist attacks in Iraq that have left 17 dead amid a surge in violence in the country.
ISIS terrorists killed nine federal police officers in an ambush on Sunday in Iraq's northern Kirkuk province.
A day later, extremists on motorbikes killed eight civilians in a village in Diyala province.
“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the cowardly terrorist attacks near Kirkuk and Albu Bali,” the council said.
They repeated “their support for the independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, democratic process and prosperity of Iraq”.
The Security Council extended its condolences to the families of the victims and to the government of Iraq, and wished the wounded a speedy recovery.
ISIS seized large areas in Iraq and Syria in 2014 and declared a “caliphate” that it ruled with extreme violence before it was defeated in late 2017 by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led military coalition.
The extremist group lost its last bastion — in Syria, near the Iraqi border — in 2019.
Despite the setbacks that have left ISIS a pale shadow of its former self, it can still call on its underground network of between 6,000 and 10,000 fighters to carry out attacks on both sides of the porous border, a UN report said earlier this year.
Last Wednesday, three Iraqi soldiers were killed when a bomb exploded during a security operation in Tarmiyah district, north of Baghdad.
Among the dead was the commander of the 59th Infantry Brigade.
Although no one claimed responsibility for the attach, remnants of ISIS are active in the area and have previously claimed similar attacks.