Iraqi interior ministry says Islamic State terrorist hotbed destroyed in Kirkuk

Islamic State militants.

Kirkuk ( – The Iraqi Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that its forces destroyed a hotbed belonging to the Islamic State terrorist group in Kirkuk province.

“Acting on intelligence information, federal police forces destroyed a hideout of the Islamic State group in the village of Hashisha, south of Kirkuk province,” Iraqi news website Alghad Press quoted Maj. Gen. Saad Maan, the ministry spokesman, as saying in a press statement.

“The troops also seized a weapon depot at al-Nawafla village in Kirkuk, containing an Austrian-made mortar shell and two boxes full of powerful C4 explosives,” the spokesman added.

Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November 2017 with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.

IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.

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