Islamic State militants have killed four people in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Iraqi security officials said, in a further escalation of violence in the Sunni Muslim country.
The attacks in Baghdad came as Iraqi forces began to push IS fighters from the city of Mosul, the group’s last major stronghold in Iraq.
The Iraqi interior ministry said on Saturday that five people had been killed in clashes in Baghdad, in addition to two policemen.
“It’s clear that IS has no qualms about committing violence to gain control of Iraq’s cities,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry did not give a casualty figure.
Iraqi security forces and Kurdish fighters are leading an offensive to recapture Mosul from IS militants.
The city is home to more than 2 million people, and its recapture would be a major victory for the government.
Iraq has struggled to contain IS in Mosul and other parts of the country for years, as well as in the rest of Iraq, which is divided between the two countries.
The militant group is fighting to establish a strict version of Islam that has drawn hundreds of thousands of followers from across the Middle Eastern region, including from the United States, Britain, France, Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.