15 militants killed, others arrested in security operation, southwest of Kirkuk

A sniper of the Iraqi Federal Police takes his position at a destroyed builiding near Islamic State fighters’ positions at Bab al Jadid district in the old city of Mosul, Iraq, March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Kirkuk ( Around 30 people were killed and arrested during a security operation, carried out in southwest of Kirkuk, the Federal Police announced on Thursday.

In a statement, the command said troops “resume their military operation in villages and valleys in Kirkuk toward southwest of the province to reach borders with Salahuddin at Makhoul and Hamreen mountains.”

The operation, according to the statement, “left 15 militants killed, 63 villages purged, seven booby-trapped vehicles destroyed and 15 suspects arrested.”

Earlier today, the pro-government al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) killed two Islamic State members as they were trying to sneak into Hawija.

On Wednesday, Federal Police killed an Islamic State leader called Shehab Ahmed al-Sallab at the outskirts of Hawija.

Earlier on the same day, a wide-scale security operation was carried out in Kirkuk in the wake of recent attacks launched by Islamic State group against some of the villages in the province.

Thousands of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June, 2014.

The group still has dormant cells, through which it carries out attacks, across Iraq like it used to do before 2014.

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