A suicide vest detonated prematurely during a meeting held by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq, killing 16 jihadists, including senior figures, and wounding 16 others, according to Iraqi media.

The terrorists were reportedly meeting in the village of al Mahaws, about 34 miles southwest of the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, to plan an attack against U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces. However, the assault was thwarted by the faulty explosive device before it began.

Al Masdar News, citing the Al Sumaria Iraqi media outlet has reported that:

“The explosion resulted in the killing of 16 members of the Islamic State (ISIS) group, including senior leaders, as well as wounding 16 others.

A number of the ISIS members were wearing explosive belts during the meeting, and the explosion took place due to a defect in one of them. The meeting was held to prepare for an attack on the positions of the security forces in Hamrin Mountains, al-Zawiya area and Ajil area in Salahuddin Province.”

 

At least 21 other jihadists were also injured during the botched operation in Afghanistan. ISIS often uses young people as suicide bombers. In August, video footage emerged purporting to show Kurdish security troops removing an explosive belt from an alleged ISIS suicide bomber, believed to be 12 or 13, moments before it was to be detonated in Kirkuk.

Earlier this year, the West Point-based Combating Terrorism Center reported that ISIS is “mobilizing children and youth at an increasing and unprecedented rate [and] that the number of child and youth militants far exceeds current estimates.”

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