Two Islamic State members apprehended in central Diyala

Iraqi security forces arrest a suspected fighter with the Islamic State group during a military operation.

Diyala ( – Two Islamic State militants were arrested Sunday in central Diyala governorate, a security source told Dijlah TV.

“Two members of the terrorist Islamic State group were arrested at Kanaan area in central Diyala,” the source said.

“The pair admitted belonging to Islamic State and adopting its ideology,” he said, adding that the troops found communication devices with them.

Earlier in the day, a Diyala court sentenced two Islamic State militants to death over carrying out several terrorist operations.

In a statement on Sunday, Abdul Sattar Bir Qadar, the spokesperson for the High Judicial Council, said, “The two were found to be behind the suicide attack that targeted a café in Muqdadiyah city in Diyala in 2016, which left many people killed and injured.”

Earlier this month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the militant group; however, observers warn that the group still poses a security threat with sleeper cells.

Abadi’s announcement came two days after Russia announced a similar victory over Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria. Abadi declared Dec. 10 an annual national holiday on this occasion.

Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied.

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