Kirkuk (Iraqinews.com) – Three Islamic State terrorists were arrested Sunday in a security campaign in Kirkuk, a police spokesman was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Mawazin News, Spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry Brigadier General Saad Maan said, “Federal police arrested three terrorists of the so-called Martyrs Battalion of Islamic State in Kirkuk.”
“One of them guided the police to the hiding place of two explosive belts,” Maan added.
“The military operation was launched upon intelligence reports,” he pointed out.
Kirkuk officials previously urged reinforcing the military presence in the south and west of the province, as the region still has Islamic State members who escaped during the liberation of Hawija to remote areas.
In October, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country. Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State occupied in 2014.
The town had fallen to IS in June 2014, when the militant group seized control of much of northern and western Iraq and proclaimed the creation of a self-styled “caliphate”. There, Islamic State’s reign forced thousands to flee to refugee camps, while hundreds had been executed by the group for attempting to escape the area or contacting security forces.