Iraqi army hunts for Islamic State militants in Diyala province

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 ( – The Iraqi army launched on Sunday a military operation in the northern district of Diyala to track down Islamic State militants.

“The Iraqi army, backed by federal police and paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces, launched a wide-scale military operation to purse Islamic State cells in Hamrin Basin, 55 kilometers northeast of Baqubah,” Diyala Police Chief Major General Faisal al-Abadi told Baghdad Today news agency.

“The three-axis operation is aimed at combing the area between al-Adhim and Qarah Tapah districts in the province to destroy any Islamic State hotbeds there,” Abadi added.

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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