Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi security forces arrested six Islamic militants near western Mosul airport, the police command said on Tuesday, as security continues to clear areas recaptured from the group.
The Federal Police service said in a statement that the six militants were arrested during combing patrols in Bu Sayf region, near Mosul Airport.
Federal Police chief Shaker Jawdat said multiple weapons, including explosive belts, were also seized after the arrest.
Iraqi troops recaptured Bu Sayf region from IS members in February, days after a second phase of operations launched to clear western Mosul from militants.
The Iraqi government declared Mosul Islamic State-free earlier this month, declaring the end of more than eight months of battles to retake Iraq’s second largest city and the group’s former capital.
Observers, however, fear that victory on the military level could not mean a total removal of the group’s threat, and think dormant cells could still destabilize the security situation with lone wolf attacks against civilians and security members. Many militants have also been found hiding among thousands of civilians fleeing the battlefield.
IS still controls a few pockets in Nineveh, Anbar, Salahuddin and Kirkuk, and the Iraqi government is planning to launch further offensives to clear those regions.