Kirkuk (Iraqinews.com) – Four security men were killed and wounded Wednesday in a bomb blast and clashes with Islamic State in Kirkuk, a military commander told TRT Arabic.
“A roadside bomb planted by Islamic State went off at a village south of Kirkuk, leaving two security men, including an officer, dead,” Commander of Kirkuk Operations Maj. Gen. Ali Fadel Umran said.
“Two other soldiers were wounded in clashes with Islamic State militants immediately after the bombing,” Umran said, adding that the assailants fled the scene into a mountainous area after the shooting.
Police have launched a manhunt for the attackers, Umran pointed out.
Earlier in the day, a London-based newspaper has warned that Islamic State militants have regained control of some areas in Kirkuk after paramilitary troops withdrew from there.
In its report, Al-Quds Al-Arabi said, “Popular Mobilization Forces have recently withdrawn from a checkpoint at Riyadh district in Kirkuk, giving the Islamic State militant group a chance to emerge again in the district.”
The paper quoted local sources as saying that, “The security satiation is very dangerous in Kirkuk now, particularly on roads linking Kirkuk with Riyadh and Hawija.”
In October, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country, after it was fallen to IS in June 2014.