After expelling IS, Iraqi bomb squads begin clearing Tikrit

Iraqi Army (EOD) team search for bombs on the main road between Baghdad and Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) — After a month of ferocious street battles that finally pushed Islamic State militants out of Tirkrit, a dangerous calm has descended on this city north of Baghdad as Iraqi bomb squads fan out to remove booby traps and explosives left behind by the extremists.

Ahmed Khamis and his team of 12 explosives experts from Iraq’s Federal Police have their work cut out for them.

Their labor is slow as they crawl on their hands and knees, street by street, searching painstakingly for any sign of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which have inflicted heavy losses on their comrades and kept them from taking the city for so long.

The government declared victory in Tikrit on Wednesday over extremists of the Islamic State group, and warned IS militants holding other Iraqi provinces that they would be the next to fall.

Most of Tikrit’s residents fled when the fighting began. Now, the government has ordered security forces to finish the job by ensuring that Saddam Hussein’s hometown is cleared of booby traps before residents start returning…