Diyala (IraqiNews.com) – Two Islamic State militants were killed Monday in an ambush in eastern Diyala province, a local official was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Alghad Press website, Moa’yed Norouz, the head of Balad Ruz’s municipal council, said, “Two IS militants riding a motorbike were killed after residents and security forces ambushed them in Shah Ali area, east of Diyala.”
The pair, according to Norouz, “were planning to launch attacks against residents in Shah Ali area.”
Although Islamic State militants suffered heavy losses since their defeat in Iraq last year, experts believe that the group is still seen as a security threat as its fighters are still making a comeback with a scatter-gun campaign of kidnap and killing.
Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December with the help of a US-led alliance, having retaken all the territory captured by the extremists in 2014 and 2015.
IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.