UPDATED: 3 militants, 3 officers killed as IS attack repelled in Diyala

Forces from al-Hashd al-Shaabi militia.

Baqubah ( Three Iraqi army members and three Islamic State militants were killed Friday as army ro-Iraqi government paramilitary forces thwarted attacks by the group since early Friday in Baqubah, Diyala.

Alghad Press reported that an army officer and two soldiers were killed, while nine others were injured, when an explosive device hit their patrol in Saadiya region, northeast of Baqubah, during a chase targeting Islamic State militants in the region.

Hours earlier, Sadeq al-Husseini, a member of Diyala council’s security committee, said al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) killed four IS members confronting an attack by the group in the same region.

Alsumaria News had quoted a local source saying that al-Hashd troops foiled the attack by firing rockets that left indefinite losses on the militants’ behalf.

Mawazin News Agency said three explosive devices were found at the nearby Hamreen Lake following the attack that lasted for several hours.

Ahmed al-Zarkoushi, mayor of Saadiya, told Alsumaria News that five missiles had landed near a residential compound in the region late Thursday.

Islamic State has stepped up attacks against civilians, security forces and allied paramilitary troops across Iraq since Iraqi government troops, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, launched an offensive in October to retake the city of Mosul, IS’s largest stronghold in Iraq. Observers say the attacks outside Mosul seek to make up for losses the group has sustained there.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has said that violence in the country lef 1115 casualties, excluding security members, during March.

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