Salahuddin (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi paramilitary forces repelled on Friday an attack by Islamic State militants on a shrine in Salahuddin province, saying they went on a hunt for three militants following the attack.
The Popular Mobilization Forces said they fought back an assault by Islamic State militants on Sayyed Mohamed shrine, south of Tikrit. The PMF media service said the force found an explosive belt while chasing three militants on the outskirts of the nearby town of Balad.
Islamic State militants have increasingly targeted security forces and civilians across Iraq over the past months coinciding with operations by the U.S.-backed Iraqi government forces which sought to retake areas occupied by the group since 2014, when the militants proclaimed a self-styled “caliphate”.
So far, Iraqi troops, backed by the PMF and a United States-led international military coalition, took over Islamic State strongholds in Mosul and Tal Afar, and plans are in place for invading other havens in Kirkuk, Salahuddin and Anbar.
Violence and armed conflicts left more than 290 Iraqis dead and injured during the month of August, according to the monthly toll count conducted by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which excludes security forces casualties.