Six Islamic State militants killed in Kirkuk security campaign

Iraqi security forces evacuate an injured soldier during heavy fighting against Islamic State group militants in Fallujah, Iraq, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

Kirkuk ( – Six Islamic State militants were killed in a security campaign in western Kirkuk on Monday, a security official was quoted as saying.

Speaking to the Kuwaiti al-Watan newspaper, Captain Ahmed al-Jabouri said, “A Federal Police force carried out various security campaigns in Hawija city, west of Kirkuk, killing six IS militants.”

“The troops have so far purged 75 percent of Hawija from Islamic State remnants,” Jabouri said, adding that efforts are underway to repatriate all local residents as soon as possible.

In October, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country.

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.

The offensive on Hawija began on 21 September and has involved army, police and special forces units, as well as the Shia-led paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces.

Despite the victory over IS there in the city, observers say IS is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.

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