PMUs kill four suicide attackers northern Salahuddin

Pro-Iraqi government paramilitary forces, al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units)

Salahuddin ( Paramilitary troops have killed four suicide bombers as their infiltration attempt in north of Salahuddin province was foiled on Monday.

“Troops of the 29th brigade were able to besiege and kill four Islamic State suicide bombers near Baiji city, north of Salahuddin,” the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Public Mobilization Units) said.

“The attackers were attempting to sneak into Baiji to target the military units there,” it added.

On Sunday, the pro-government troops killed two IS militants after targeting their havens in Makhoul mountains, north of the province.

Salahuddin has witnessed an escalation in IS attacks on deployments by Iraqi government forces and PMUs over the past months as Iraqi government forces continue to make gains in Mosul, the group’s largest stronghold in Iraq, since a security campaign launched in October to retake the city.

Observers believe IS attacks outside Mosul seek distracting security attention from Mosul and to make up for losses.

IS militants still pose a security threat in Salahuddin though security forces had recaptured large areas of the province since the group emerged in 2014 to proclaim an “Islamic Caliphate”.

PMUs are considered one of the largest militias in Iraq. It was established in 2014 by a fatwa (religious edict) to fight the Islamic State. In late 2016, the Iraqi parliament recognized the militia as a national armed force.

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