Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi paramilitary forces killed on Friday three Islamic State suicide bombers in southwest Kirkuk before perpetrating an attack on civilians.
PMF media said the militants, wearing explosive belts, were killed at al-Rashad area in Hawija, a former Islamic State bastion, southwest of Kirkuk.
Iraqi forces declared the recapture of Hawija from Islamic State early October.
Iraq declared the end of Islamic State territorial influence last Friday with the recapture of its last haven in Anbar province.
A government campaign, backed by the PMF and a U.S.-led coalition, recaptured all of the group’s major bastions in Iraq, but Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Tuesday final victory over the group would be declared once the militants are expelled from desert areas.
An operation, backed by PMF, was launched Wednesday to clear the Iraqi desert falling between Anbar, Nineveh and Salahuddin from Islamic State militants.
Some security commanders warn that som remnant IS cells could seek hiding at mountain areas, using those regions as launching points for future attacks.
PMFs are recognized as a national force under the Prime Minister’s command and are composed of mainly- Shiite militias. Their participation has been vital to the defeat of Islamic State militants since 2014.