Salahuddin (Iraqinews.com) – Five members of the paramilitary al-Hashd al-Shaabi fighters were killed and wounded Monday in an attack by the terrorist Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq’s central province of Salahudin, a security source was quoted as saying.
“A group of IS terrorists wearing explosive belts attacked the headquarters of the 31st brigade of al-Hashd al-Shaabi in Baiji district in Salahuddin,” Alghad Press quoted the source as saying.
“The attack left a paramilitary fighter of al-Hashd al-Shaabi dead and five others wounded,” the source said, explaining that the terrorists came from al-Jazeera area targeting the Area 600 complex near Baiji oil refinery, which is used by security forces and Hashd Shaabi fighters as a security headquarters.
Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi (also known as Popular Mobilization Forces) is an alliance of volunteer Shia paramilitary forces, which actively backed the Iraqi government’s military campaign against IS since 2014.
The alliance was formed upon a top Shia clergy edict to counter the Sunni Jihadist group.
Al-Hashd won official recognition as a national force late 2016, becoming under the command of the prime minister, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has recurrently defended al-Hashd al-Shaabi against domestic and foreign accusations of committing human rights violations.