Iraqi police arrest 3 Islamic State militants, detonate 325 explosives in Kirkuk

An army patrol passes by Kirkuk province, raising the Iraqi flag. File photo

Kirkuk ( – Three Islamic State terrorists were arrested and 325 explosive charges were detonated during a security operation in Kirkuk, the Iraqi Security Media Center announced Wednesday.

“Police forces have combed several districts and villages in Kirkuk today, arresting three Islamic State members in Makhmur and Erbil districts and detonating 325 explosive charges,” Ayn Al Iraq News quoted the center’s spokesman Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool as saying in a statement.

“The troops also found a facility used for making bombs, as well as two explosive belts and six bombs,” the spokesman said, adding that two terrorist hotbeds were destroyed in the campaign as well.

Kirkuk officials previously urged reinforcing military troops in the south and west of the province, as the region still has Islamic State members who escaped during liberation of Hawija to remote areas.

The town had fallen to IS in June 2014, when the militant group seized control of much of northern and western Iraq and proclaimed the creation of a self-styled “caliphate”. There, Islamic State’s reign forced thousands to flee to refugee camps, while hundreds had been executed by the group for attempting to escape the area or contacting security forces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared last December final victory over Islamic State three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.

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