Islamic State terrorists have launched an attack on Iraqi security forces using cows rigged with explosives, in what is thought to be the group's first use of weaponised cattle.

Two cows wearing explosive belts were heading towards a military checkpoint when Iraqi soldiers opened fire and "blew them up", according to a report on the Kurdish website Rudaw.

One civilian was injured in the attack, which a local official says shows the group's increasing desperation.

Sadiq Husseini told Rudaw: "The group has lost the ability to recruit young people and would-be suicide bombers, instead they are using cattle".

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The decision by the bumbling bombers to take the bull by the horns and choose cattle as a delivery device may be novel, but militant groups have a history of using unfortunate animals in their deadly plots.

The Independent reported that research charity Action on Armed Violence has recorded six incidents of "donkey-borne IEDs" since 2010, which killed a total of 14 people. All of the incidents were in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Isis had another dairy-related scheme stopped when Lebanese authorities thwarted a plot to bomb last year's Lebanese parliamentary elections.

The group smuggled explosives into the country in buckets of cheese but a police surveillance operation uncovered the plan in an operation codenamed "Lethal Cheese".

In another embarrassing incident for the terror group, it was reported last month that an Isis fighter was killed when his drone bomb ran low on battery and flew back to him.

His death came during the battle for Mosul and was revealed after a security source came forward to share the story.

The source told the Sun: "We learned this idiot had wired up his drone with explosives but was killed when its batteries ran low and it flew home."

"With a weak signal for some reason it detonated over his head."

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"This caused quite a laugh for us but the drone threat is very real. The fighter killed himself last year due to his own ineptitude, but is still keeping morale high today."