Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Six Kurdish Peshmerga were killed and wounded Saturday when an explosive device went off on the side of a road west of Kirkuk, according to a security source.
Mawazin News quoted the source saying that the device was planted on the side of a road between Ismail Awa and Kharba Rot regions when a vehicle owned by the Peshmerga Ministry passed.
One passenger was killed and five others were injured in the blast, according to the source.
Islamic State militants continue to step up attacks against security forces even after they lost their biggest stronghold in Iraq, Mosul, which Iraqi forces recaptured last month, marking a symbolic collapse of the group’s “caliphate” proclaimed in 2014.
The Iraqi government plans to aim at the few remaining IS havens in the country, including Kirkuk. Troops are currently nearing victory over IS in its stronghold town of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh.
Peshmerga fighters have been part of the U.S.-backed military campaign to retake IS-held areas which launched in October.
Violence and armed conflicts left more than 500 dead and wounded in Iraq during July, according to a monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).