Iraqi police kill four Islamic State militants in Kirkuk

A Shi’ite volunteer wearing a mask, who has joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), looks on during a parade on a street in Kanaan, Diyala province, June 26, 2014.

Kirkuk ( – Iraqi federal police killed on Tuesday four members of Islamic State in the oil-rich Iraqi province of Kirkuk, a security source was quoted as saying.

“A police force killed today afternoon four Islamic State members in al-Helwa village in Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk,” the source told the Iraqi Baghdad Today website.

The source added that the security forces have launched a manhunt for IS dormant cells in the southern villages and regions of Kirkuk.

Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence last November 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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