BAGHDAD — Fighters from a Sunni extremist group attacked an army unit in a northern Iraqi city Tuesday, killing 15 soldiers in a rampage of beheadings, shootings, and a hanging, security officials said.
The strike on the army unit in Mosul by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, showed how the group has moved beyond Anbar province, west of Baghdad, where it controls Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, and has extended its reach into territories throughout the country.
On Tuesday, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremists drove up to the army unit, which had been deployed to secure an oil pipeline that links Iraq and Turkey, in SUVs, bent on slaughter. They beheaded five soldiers, shot nine dead, and hanged one on a wall, torturing him to death, the officials said.
The authorities said it was becoming more common for large numbers of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremists to carry out deadly raids and bombings in areas outside Anbar province as the army of the Shi’ite-dominated government tightens its cordon there for offensives against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other Sunni militias.