Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants have canceled the Friday prayers at most of Hawija mosques, a local source from Kirkuk said.
“IS militants intended to cancel Friday prayers at most of the mosques in Hawija as the group is on high alert at the pivotal regions in the town,” the source told AlSumaria News on Friday.
“Most of the well-known leaders in Hawija have been hiding for the past few days, amid news that some escaped, along with their families, to outside Hawija,” the source, who preferred anonymity, added.
On Thursday, an IS female leader, in charge of the women’s brigade, was killed, along with her husband and two sons, as an airstrike targted the group’s camp in the northern side of the town.
Hawija and other neighboring regions, west of Kirkuk, have been held by IS since mid-2014, when the group emerged to proclaim an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. The group executed dozens of civilians and security members there, forcing thousands to flee homes.
Further reinforcements from the Federal Police were sent earlier this month from Baghdad to the town, as the military command declared last week, the end of operations in Tal Afar, the militants’ last haven west of Nineveh, and the approach of the launch of offensives for Hawija.