A veteran Iraqi police officer became a human shield in order to save a number of young army recruits from a terrorist suicide-bomber on Thursday, as Islamists attacking security targets killed about 15 people throughout the struggling country.
Raad Kadhim Hattab had grabbed the suicide bomber as he was trying to target a recruitment center and bear-hugged him as the bomber's explosive-laden vest blew up, Middle East news agencies reported.
This latest terrorist attack added to the suffering of Iraq's citizens who are witnessing a surge in death and destruction with close to 2,700 people killed so far in 2014.
According to Middle East terrorism expert and former police advisor, George Wellner, the Iraqi military's and law enforcement's anti-terrorism activities against members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has provoked even more bold and far-reaching bombing incidents.
When the terrorist detonated his explosives, besides killing Hattab, an army recruit died and 10 others were wounded. One other police officer was wounded by the blast. An Iraqi doctor is quoted as saying the death toll would have been higher were it not for the police officers sacrifice.
In December 2013, another Iraqi police officer also gave his life to protect Shiite pilgrims from a suicide bomber even though the cop was a Sunni and the terrorists are Sunnis.
Last Thursday, terrorist killed 13 members of Iraq's security force in the province of Nineveh, which is arguably the most dangerous area in Iraq, according to Wellner.
Meanwhile, a police colonel was gunned down in another attack southeast of Baghdad, according to Middle East news outlets.
Already in April more than 400 people have been killed in the violence, according to figures reported by police.