A group of Islamic State gunmen opened fire on a wedding procession returning from Diyala province last week, seven family members were killed in the attack. The ceremony was held the Buhriz district of Baghdad, just south of Baquda. Security forces are still investigating but the ambush appears to be premeditated, the gunmen specifically targeted the group. The group was returning from Baghdad, post-ceremony, in the late evening when the militants stopped the bus they were traveling in via a hasty blockade.

The family disclosed that the ISIS fighters only killed the males and left the remaining children and women unharmed. All the deceased were recovered and sent to the local medical facility, a relevant bit of information given the Islamic States reputation for barbarism and desecration. The men were made to exit the bus and move to the side of the road where they were lined up and shot in front of their family members. The road the family was traveling on has been deemed a high risk area and Iraqi officials have warned citizens that utilizing it can be extremely dangerous. The route has been identified as Old Al-Nahrawan Road and it links Diyala and Baghdad.

In the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq’s (UNAMI) monthly release, 76 Iraqi residents were killed “in acts of terrorism, violence, and armed conflict” and another 129 civilians were wounded in the month of June alone. According to the same report, Diyala province, Kirkuk, and Baghdad are where the worst of it is occurring. The victims were 16 killed in Diyala, 10 in Kirkuk, and 19 for Baghdad. Presently Iraqi Security Forces are stretched extremely thin across the country and disputed territories are suffering because of it.

This week Iraqi military forces began a large scale anti-Islamic State operation to go after sleeper cells operating out of Diyala, Kirkuk, and Salahuddin. The operation has been titled “Revenge of the Martyrs” in reference to the kidnapping and murder of a group of security forces members in June, an event that garnered national attention.

Featured image: A woman walks through her village outside of Mosul, Iraq on Jan. 4, 2008. | By U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kieran Cuddihy via Wikimedia Commons