Iraqi forces destroy two Islamic State hotbeds in Kirkuk

Islamic State fighters carry their swords following a battle with Iraqi security forces. File photo

Kirkuk ( – The Iraqi Interior Ministry said on Monday that its forces destroyed two Islamic State hotbeds containing a large cache of weapons and ammunition in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

“Acting on intelligence information, federal police forces found a hideout belonging to the terrorist Islamic State group in Tel Rahma area in Kirkuk,” Maj. Gen. Saad Maan, the ministry spokesman, said in a press statement.

“Eight explosive charges, 200 bullets, four missiles and an Islam State flag were found inside the hotbed,” the spokesman said.

He added that another IS hotbed was found in Anana village in Kirkuk.

“The two hotbeds were completely destroyed, and the seized weapons were handed over to the competent authorities,” the spokesman noted.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December 2017 with the help of a US-led alliance, having retaken all the territory captured by the extremists in 2014 and 2015.

Isolated cells believed to be linked to the Islamic State group remain active in some parts of the country. In recent weeks, suspected Islamic State insurgents have carried out several attacks targeting security forces in the areas north-west of Kirkuk.

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