milk
(Getty Images)
  • Islamic State militants in Iraq have been using cows strapped with explosive vests for their suicide operations, according to a New York Times report published on Wednesday.
  • At least two cows were reportedly seen with explosive vests in the south eastern village of Al Islah, where they were then remotely detonated when they were close to homes.
  • Vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) have been widely utilised amongst terrorist organisations for suicide missions, in addition to animals
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

Islamic State militants in Iraq used cows strapped with explosive vests in a recent bombing operation, according to a New York Times report published on Wednesday.

At least two cows were seen with explosive vests in the south eastern village of Al Islah, Iraq, where they were then remotely detonated when they were close to homes, a provincial police commander said, according to The Times. The cows, which fetch a price of around $1,200, were killed and homes were damaged. No humans were reportedly harmed in the incident.

Vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) have been widely utilised amongst terrorist organisations for suicide missions, in addition to animals. In 2013, a suicide bomber with a donkey killed three NATO troops in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

A report of the incident comes amid a scathing assessment from the Defense Department's inspector general warning that ISIS could be resurfacing in light of the US's decision to withdraw its troops from Syria.

"ISIS remains a threat in Iraq and Syria," lead inspector general Glenn Fine wrote in the report. "This quarter, ISIS continued its transition from a territory - holding force to an insurgency in Syria, and it intensified its insurgency in Iraq."

Despite the government report's findings in June, President Donald Trump previously declared ISIS lost "100%" of its territory in Syria.

Although estimates vary, around 14,000 to 18,000 ISIS members are still believed to be operating, according to public data cited in the inspector general's report. The figures include up to 3,000 foreigners.

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