PMFs kill Islamic State militant west of Kirkuk governorate

Popular Mobilization Forces

Kirkuk ( Popular Mobilization Forces killed on Monday an Islamic State militant at al-Hawija district in Kirkuk, the PMF media service said.

“PMF’s 2nd brigade, in cooperation with the Iraqi army’s 20th brigade, shot an IS fighter, identified as Abu Hafsa, dead at a village in al-Hawija district west of Kirkuk governorate,” the media service said in a statement, a copy of which was obtained by SNG news agency.

“Abu Hafsa was planned to attack several civilians at al-Hawija district,” the statement read.

In October, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that Iraqi military has retaken Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country.

Hawija, which lies 215km (135 miles) north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, has been a bastion of Islamic State since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The town fell to IS in June 2014, when the jihadist group seized control of much of northern and western Iraq and proclaimed the creation of a “caliphate”.

But it was surrounded and cut off from other IS-held territory more than a year ago, when government forces advanced north towards the second city of Mosul.

The offensive on Hawija began on 21 September and has involved army, police and special forces units, as well as the Shia-led paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces.

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