Kirkuk (Iraqinews.com) – Iraqi policemen, backed by pro-government forces, killed on Tuesday six Islamic State (IS) militants in Hawija district in Kirkuk, a security source was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Alghad Press, the source said, “A joint force from the Iraqi police and the Tribal Mobilization Forces stormed a secret tunnel used by IS militants between al-Fara and Hosayneya villages in al-Zab area in Hawija.”
“Fierce clashes erupted between the two sides, leaving six IS insurgents killed,” the source pointed out. He noted the operation comes as part of Iraq’s efforts to track down IS cells nationwide.
In October, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country.
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.
Despite the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces, Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses a threat against stability in the country.