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Serie C
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Rome

Five soldiers hurt by ISIS attack in Iraq

Three seriously, one loses legs to blast, ISIS claims attack

Five soldiers hurt by ISIS attack in Iraq

Rome, November 11 - ISIS on Monday claimed responsibility for an attack that wounded five Italian soldiers in northern Iraq in a statement published by the group's Amaq news agency, which was picked up by the SITE intelligence group that monitors jihadist websites. The soldiers were wounded Sunday in a roadside blast in northern Iraq as they were returning from a mission aimed at helping Iraqi Kurdish troops fight the Islamic State group, Italian defense ministry sources said. The military personnel, members of a task force mentoring and training Peshmerga special forces, were wounded in an attack at 11 AM local time in the area of Suleymania, in Iraqi Kurdistan. None of the soldiers, including three members of the Navy and two of the army, are in a life-threatening condition. However, three were seriously injured by a rudimentary explosive device used for the attack, defense ministry sources told ANSA. One required the partial amputation of his legs, another lost the toes of a foot while a third underwent surgery due to an internal haemorrhage. The military personnel on Monday were in "stable" condition and were being treated at a hospital in Baghdad. They will be transferred to Italy as soon as their condition improves, the sources said. Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Monday said Italy will stand up to the threat of ISIS. "Italy will not step backwards, and will not step backwards even a centimetre in the face of the terrorist threat," Di Maio said on Facebook after ISIS claimed the attack. "The Italian State will react with all its force in the face of those who sow terror and strike innocent people, including women and children". Di Maio again sent "an embrace and the closeness of all the government" to the five injured soldiers and recalled that on Thursday he will be in Washington for a meeting of the anti-ISIS coalition. The foreign minister previously told RAI television that Italy's "mission in Iraq is to train Iraqi soldiers fighting ISIS, fighting terrorism". "It's a mission that embodies all the values of our armed Service", he said. "Our contingents are among the most highly appreciated (abroad), not just because of their professionalism, but also because of the heart that they put into the mission". The minister said he would visit Italy's contingent in Lebanon during the Christmas period. European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini also voiced the EU's solidarity for the ISIS attack on the Italian soldiers. She said the EU had been informed of what happened by Di Maio. "Both I and my colleagues expressed solidarity with Italy", she said. "We had a discussion on the need to continue to keep a very high level of attention for the stabilization of the country. "We must never forget that there are countries which must be accompanied in their process of stabilization". Meanwhile Italian prosecutors and Carabinieri ROS paramilitary police on Monday met at the State attorney's office in Rome to discuss a probe into the attack, judicial sources said. The sources did not provide further details on the investigation, citing security reasons as members of Italy's special forces are still deployed in the area of the attack. The investigation into the attack is being led by Rome prosecutor Sergio Colaiocco. The Supreme Defence Council (CSD) on Monday said "the recent attack on our contingent in Iraq confirms that transnational terrorism remains the main threat for Italy and for the whole international community. It is necessary to continue to guarantee our presence in the principal areas of instability and contribute with decision to strategies aimed at developing an effective system of mutual opposition to the phenomenon".

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