Kirkuk (Iraqinews.com) – Pro-government troops of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) announced on Tuesday killing Seven Islamic State (IS) militants in a military operation southwest of the oil-rich Kirkuk province.
In a statement, a copy of which was obtained by Alghad Press, the PMFs said that “four of those killed in the military operation were clad in explosive belts as they sought to blow themselves up to block the troops’ advancement towards al-Rebza village in southwestern Kirkuk.”
“The troops killed three other IS militants in the operation as well,” according to the statement, adding that the military operation will go on as scheduled to eliminate all IS cells across Kirkuk.
The Islamic State group appeared on the international scene in 2014 when it seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, declaring the establishment of an Islamic “caliphate” from Mosul city.
Later on, the group has become notorious for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions and beheadings, prompting the U.S. to lead an international coalition to destroy it.
Although Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December, isolated militant cells still pose a security threat in some parts of the country and have already carried out several attacks targeting security forces and citizens.