Nine Islamic State members, including suicide attacker, killed, west of Kirkuk

Iraqi troops drive armored vehicles during a military operation in Iraq

Kirkuk ( Nine Islamic State militants, including a suicide attacker, have been killed in an operation, west of Kirkuk, the pro-government paramilitary troops announced.

In a statement, the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said, “an ambush was set, depending on information from the intelligence, leaving nine IS members killed in Wadi al-Rahma, north of al-Zab town in Hawija. One of them was a suicide attacker.”

No further details were provided.

On Wednesday, a security source was quoted saying that Federal Police forces engaged with IS elements in Altun Kupri, northwest of the province, leaving three militants dead.

Earlier this week, around 20 IS militants were killed as Iraqi forces, backed by PMFs, clashed with IS militants at al-Saadiya village in Hawija, news reported quoted sources as saying. 15 others are still trapped inside the village. PMFs media service said on Saturday that troops, assisted by Federal Police troops, killed five members of IS and besieged two others during a raid on their hideout in Tuwairiya, Abbasi, northwest of Hawija.

Thousands of IS militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition, was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group.

In December, Abadi announced full liberation of Iraqi lands, declaring end of war against IS members. However, Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses threat against stability in the country.

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