Diyala (IraqiNews.com) Seven members of the pro-government paramilitary forces fighting the Islamic State were killed and wounded in Diyala on Thursday after a booby-trap explosion.
A local source told Alghad Press that members of the Popular Mobilization Forces were inspecting a house in al-Boubakr village, at al-Udhaim, north of the province, preparing to hand it over to migrant families returning to the area.
The fighters, finding stuff belonging to Islamic State militants, tried to remove them, but a booby-trap placed underneath exploded, killing two members and wounding fivem the source explained.
Al-Udhaim’s mayor, Mohamed Dayfan, was quoted saying earlier that security alert was raised in the region, located on the borders with Salahuddin, preparing to repatriate displaced families.
Iraqi government forces, backed by a United States.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, are currently battling Islamic State militants out of their strongholds in Anbar, Kirkuk and Salahuddin, hoping to mark an end to the self-styled “caliphate” the group declared in 2014.
Operations since October 2016 have so far managed to liberate Mosul, the group’s former capital in Iraq, and Tal Afar town, west of Mosul. A wide-scale offensive was launched earlier on Thursday to retake IS holdouts in Salahuddin and Kirkuk, while a parallel one was launched earlier this week targeting havens in western Anbar.