Kirkuk (Iraqinews.com) – Iraqi troops destroyed two hideouts of the terrorist Islamic State group and arrested nine suspects in Kirkuk, an Iraqi security center said in a statement.
Iraqi website Alghad Press quoted Yehia Rasool, the spokesman for the Iraqi Security Media Council, as saying that “troops of the federal police inspected several villages in Kirkuk, destroying two IS hideaways and arresting nine suspects.”
“The troops also destroyed five locally-made explosives and seized 14 Kalashnikov assault rifles,” Rasool said.
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.
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.
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.