Paramilitary troops destroy three IS hotbeds, bomb-making lab in Diyala

Iraqi security forces launch a major operation to dislodge IS militants from Diyala

Diyala ( – Paramilitary troops destroyed on Monday three Islamic State hotbeds and a bomb-making lab during a military operation in Diyala, a spokesman for the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) said.

Speaking to Alghad Press on Monday, spokesman for the PMF’s 23rd brigade Hussien al-Hussieni said, “The brigade’s forces taking part in a Diyala military operation have destroyed three Islamic State hideouts and a laboratory that was used by the terrorist group for making bombs at Hawi al-Azim area in northern the province.”

“The paramilitary forces also seized machine guns and dismantled several explosive devices,” he said, adding that the military operation is in its final stages.

Earlier in the day, Commander of Tigris Operations Lieutenant General Mazhar al-Ezzawi said a wide-scale military operation was launched to track down Islamic State militants at Hawi al-Azim area in Diyala.

“Backed by Iraqi warplanes, joint troops from the Iraqi army, police and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) launched the operation to track down Islamic State cells in the western parts of Hawi al-Azim area,” Ezzawi pointed out.

“The military operation was launched upon intelligence reports with the aim of cleansing the area of Islamic State cells and hideouts and restoring Diyala’s security and stability,” Ezzawi added.

In January 2015, Iraqi forces announced liberation of Diyala province from Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The province has seen months of fighting between Iraqi troops and IS militants especially in the Jalawla and Saadiyah areas in the province’s north and areas near the town of Muqdadiyah.

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