Iraq

110 Fijian peacekeepers deployed overseas test Covid-19 positive

Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto, says they are all receiving treatment and will be allowed to complete their deployment once they recover.

He told FBC that 90 troops in Iraq and 20 in Sinai who tested positive have to be quarantined.

Naupoto says 41 peacekeepers in Iraq have almost completed their isolation period and are about to return to active duty.

According to the military, deployments will continue with all personnel receiving the necessary vaccine pre departure and upon arrival at their mission stations.

476 Fijians are deployed in six missions.

Pope Francis denounces extremism on historic visit to Iraq

Hostility, extremism and violence are "betrayals of religion" he told an inter-faith prayer service.

Iraq has been wracked by religious and sectarian violence, both against minorities and between Shia and Sunni Muslims too.

Pope Francis also visited one of Shia Islam's most powerful figures.

Receiving the head of the Roman Catholic Church at his home in the holy city of Najaf, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said Christians should be able to live in peace and security like all other Iraqis.

Iraqis try to stay cool in 51C heatwave

The temperature in the capital Baghdad reportedly approached 52C on Tuesday, one of the highest the city has ever seen.

The heat is said to have remained above 51C on Wednesday.

Many people stayed indoors, with some in central Baghdad seeking respite under an improvised shower.

But the extreme heat has put even greater pressure on the country's already strained public resources.

Electricity cuts have left many people in Baghdad reliant on generators to keep fans and air conditioners running.

Rockets reportedly fired at US army base in Camp Taji

An Iraqi military statement said the camp had been targeted by Katyusha rockets.

Sky News reported a missile landed near the camp's gates, wounding a member of the security forces.

Taji is the base where the remaining 45 New Zealand defence force personnel are stationed in Iraq.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NDF) said all New Zealand soldiers at the camp are safe and accounted for.

A spokesperson said the rocket attacks where New Zealand soldiers are training Iraqi security forces are a regular occurrence.

US airbase in Iraq hit by rockets in retaliation

Iranian state TV says the attack is a retaliation after the country's top commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike in Baghdad on Friday, on the orders of US President Donald Trump.

The Al-Asad base has been hit by multiple rockets.

The White House is monitoring the attack.

It is unclear if there have been any casualties.

Dutch air strike killed about 70 people in Iraq in 2015

It is the first time the Dutch government has given details of the raid, which targeted an alleged IS bomb factory in Hawija, north of Baghdad.

Large, unexpected secondary explosions meant the death toll was higher than anticipated, a ministry statement said.

Dutch sorties in Iraq ended last year.

The IS facility hit in Hawija on the night of 2 June 2015 was believed to be producing vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used to attack coalition forces, the statement said.

Death toll nears 100 as unrest enters fifth day

The unrest entered its fifth day on Saturday, with at least five people killed in the latest clashes in the capital Baghdad.

The security forces are again reported to have used live rounds.

Demonstrators say they are taking a stand against unemployment, poor public services and corruption.

It is the deadliest unrest since so-called Islamic State was declared defeated in Iraq in 2017.

It is seen as the first major challenge to Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi's fragile government, nearly a year since he came to power.

'More than 80 dead' in Tigris river ferry disaster

Most of the passengers on board could not swim, the head of Mosul's civil defence agency said. Reports suggest nearly 200 people were on board.

The ferry was said to be heading towards a tourist island as part of new year celebrations.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has ordered an investigation "to determine responsibilities".

In a statement Mr Mahdi said he was following the story "with pain and sadness", and had ordered "all state efforts" to find survivors and treat victims.

Turkish women sentenced to death in Iraq for IS links

Some reports say 16 women were handed the death penalty, while others say one was jailed for life.

The women confessed to marrying IS fighters or providing the group "with logistical aid or helping them carry out terrorist attacks", the judge said.

Thousands of foreigners have fought and died for IS in Iraq and Syria.

The Iraqi government declared its war against the group over in December. While IS has been driven from its major strongholds, militants have continued to carry out suicide bombings and other attacks.

Iraq: At least 60 die in twin attacks near Nasiriya

A suicide bomber detonated a vest and gunmen opened fire inside a restaurant near Nasiriya, capital of Dhiqar province, security sources said.

Soon afterwards, a car bomb exploded at a nearby checkpoint.

So-called Islamic State said it carried out the attacks. Shia Muslim pilgrims including Iranians were killed by the suspected militants.

According to news agency AFP, one report said the attackers were disguised as members of Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) - a mainly Shia group that has fought alongside Iraqi forces against IS.