Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) One Iraqi military commander and 14 Islamic State militants were killed on Tuesday during encounters in Kirkuk province, Iraq’s paramilitary force and intelligence sources were quoted saying.
The Popular Mobilization Forces media said assistant commander for Eastern Tigris Operations, Ali Khalifa (aka Abu Zahraa al-Abadi), was killed on the Tuz Khurmatu-Kirkuk road. It did not elaborate on the circumstances of his death.
But Shafaq News website quoted intelligence source saying that Iraqi security forces killed 14 Islamic State militants during several operations in Kirkuk.
The sources said the cell eradicated included “Abu Anas al-Iraqi”, and had been involved in several killings and kidnappings in the province.
Kirkuk has seen occasional bloody attacks against civilians and security forces since Iraqi forces drove out Kurdish troops following the political standoff resulting from the referendum in which Kurdistan Region voted for independence from Iraq.
Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi had ordered military operations in Kirkuk in retaliation for the recent execution of eight Iraqis by Islamic State militants at the province.
The militants had posted a video threatening the execution of the victims if Iraqi authorities to not free female detainees affiliated with the group. The abductee’ corpses were later found outside Kirkuk.