Iraqi pro-government troops kill 3 Islamic State militants in Kirkuk

Islamic State militants

Kirkuk ( – Iraqi paramilitary troops killed on Saturday night three Islamic State (IS) militants in an ambush in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, Baghdad Today news website reported Sunday.

“Troops of the 27th brigade of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) acted on precise intelligence data as they managed to kill three members of the terrorist Islamic State group in an ambush at al-Rashad district in Hawija, west of Kirkuk,” the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi said in a statement.

The statement accused the militants of “planning to carry out terrorist attacks against security headquarters in Kirkuk.”

Kirkuk Governor Rakan al-Jubouri announced on Saturday a curfew from midnight until 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) to prevent any ethnic or sectarian tension between its Kurdish, Arab and ethnic Turkmen communities over the parliamentary elections.

He also ordered a manual recount of votes, saying an electronic counting system had produced an “illogical” result.

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.

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