An Iraqi civilian was killed and two security personnel injured in a bomb blast Saturday in the northern Saladin province, according to a local police officer.

An explosive device exploded as a police patrol was passing south of Saladin, police officer Samir al-Shahabi told Anadolu Agency.

Security forces launched a manhunt for the perpetrators, he said.

No group has yet claimed responsibility, but Iraqi authorities suspect the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group was behind the attack.

Since the start of this year, suspected Daesh/ISIS terrorists have stepped up attacks, particularly in the area between Kirkuk, Saladin and Diyala, known as the “Triangle of Death”.

In 2017, Iraq declared victory over Daesh/ISIS by reclaiming all of its territory – about a third of the country’s area – invaded by the terrorist group in 2014. However, the terrorist group still maintains sleeper cells in large areas of Iraq and periodically launches attacks.

The Iraqi army continues to carry out frequent operations against the group in these parts of the country.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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