17 Islamic State militants killed in Diyala military operation: commander

Paramilitary fighters and military vehicles are seen during a military operation to retake positions held by Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province, north of Baghdad January 25, 2015. Picture taken January 25, 2015. REUTERS

Diyala ( – Up to 17 members of Islamic State were killed in a military operation that was launched Sunday to eliminate terrorist hotbeds in Diyala province, an army commander was quoted as saying.

Speaking to Alghad Press on Monday, Commander of Diyala Operations Mazhar al-Azzawi said, “the military operation, which was launched yesterday in the northern and northeastern parts of Diyala, was typical and caused many casualties among Islamic State fighters.”

“The operation, backed by army jets, left 17 Islamic State fighters dead and 10 of their hideouts destroyed,” Azzawi said, adding that the Iraqi army is determined to continue purging the whole province from IS dormant cells.

Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses threat against stability in the country. The group still has dormant cells, through which it carries out attacks across Iraq like it used to do before 2014.

In January 2015, Iraqi forces announced liberation of Diyala province from Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The province has seen months of fighting between Iraqi troops and IS militants especially in the Jalawla and Saadiyah areas in the province’s north and areas near the town of Muqdadiyah.

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