Baghdad: Iraqi security forces killed five Islamic State (IS) militants on Wednesday in the province of Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad, a provincial security source said.
“A joint force of Iraqi army, police and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi, backed by gunships, carried out a search operation on the edges of al-Multaqa sub-district, some 20 km southeast of Kirkuk,” Ali al-Obaidi from Kirkuk police was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.
Of the five IS militants killed, three were suicide bombers wearing explosive belts, he said.
The joint force also confiscated ammunition and different kinds of weapons during the operation, which is “still going on to trace IS remnants in the area,” al-Obaidi added.
In December 2017, Iraq declared full liberation from the IS after the security forces and the Hashd Shaabi units, backed by the anti-IS international coalition, recaptured all areas once seized by the extremist group, Xinhua reported.
However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out guerilla attacks from time to time against the security forces and civilians.