Iraqi troops kill 14 Islamic State jihadists south of Kirkuk

Members of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) arrive at the scene of an attack outside warehouses where ballots from the May 12 parliamentary vote were stored in the northern multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk early on July 1, 2018. Marwan Ibrahim / AFP

Kirkuk ( – Iraqi security forces killed on Monday 14 militants of the Islamic State group during a security operation in the oil-rich Kirkuk province.

Backed by warplanes of the U.S.-led international coalition, the counter-terrorism forces carried out a preemptive operation to pursue Islamic State terrorists in Kirkuk province, Baghdad Today quoted the Security Media Cell as saying in a press statement.

As many as 14 IS militants were killed in the operation, the statement read without giving further details.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over five million internally displaced persons across Iraq and left more than 11 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Iraq’s war against the Islamic State has also left thousands dead, according to government and United Nations reports. In 2017 alone, violence left more than 3,000 dead and more than 4,000 wounded.

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