Five Islamic State militants killed in repelled attack on Iraqi-Syrian border

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Baghdad ( – Five Islamic State militants were killed in a repelled attack on the Iraqi-Syrian border on Wednesday, paramilitary forces said.

“Popular Mobilization Forces’ (PMF) 1st brigade repelled a fierce attack launched by Islamic State against Tall Safuk area on the Iraqi-Syrian border,” the paramilitary forces said in a statement, quoted by Baghdad Today, on Wednesday.

“The two-hour attack left five IS militants killed,” the statement read, adding that the PMFs have detonated a vehicle owned by the assailants and seized another.

“The security situation is now under control,” the statement concluded.

Earlier in the day, a Diyala-based provincial official warned of the return of Islamic State militants to a border area between Diyala and Salahuddin provinces after the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from there.

Speaking to Alsumaria News, Abdul Khaleq al-Azzawi, a member of Diyala province council, said, “Islamic State militants returned to Mteibijah border area between Salahuddin and Diyala provinces after Iraqi forces withdrew from there on Monday for unknown reasons.”

Azzawi wondered how the “Iraqi military could take such a decision of withdrawal with no reasonable justification.”

A military operation was launched earlier on Saturday to hunt down remnants of Islamic State at Mteibijah area in Iraq, the Iraqi military said.

Backed by paramilitary al-Hashd al-Shaabi, the troops advanced from three directions to clear Mteibijah area, the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a brief statement.

Dozens of IS militants fled their former bases in Salahuddin province and Hawijah area in west of Kirkuk after the Iraqi forces cleared these areas from the extremist militants during anti-IS offensives in the past few months.

Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.

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