Iraqi troops destroy Islamic State hideout in Salahuddin

A sign that reads “Here is a cemetery of the Islamic State group” sticks out from a pile of rubble in the old city of Mosul on Jan. 9. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Salahuddin ( – Iraqi forces destroyed on Tuesday an Islamic State hotbed in Salahuddin province and seized a huge amount of explosive materials there, a military statement said.

“Troops of the Military Intelligence Directorate in cooperation with the Popular Mobilization Forces destroyed one of Islamic State hideouts in a mountainous area in al-Khnoka village in Salahuddin,” Mawazin News quoted the directorate as saying in a statement.

“A huge amount of explosive materials and Afghan clothes were found inside the hotbed,” the statement added.

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.

The Islamic State group appeared on the international scene in 2014 when it seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, declaring the establishment of an Islamic “caliphate” from Mosul city.

Later on, the group has become notorious for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions and beheadings, prompting the U.S. to lead an international coalition to destroy it.

Despite the group’s crushing defeat at its main havens across Iraq, Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks against troops with security reports warning that the militant group still poses a threat against stability in the country.

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