Iraqi forces foil IS attack, kill 12 militants in Salahuddin
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi forces on Sunday killed 12 Islamic State (IS) militants after fierce clashes in the Salahuddin Province, security sources claimed.
The violence took place before dawn as dozens of IS extremists attacked an Iraqi military base in the Zuwiyah area.
The Iraqi forces thwarted the attack, denying the militants the chance to overrun their base, a source close to the forces said.
The source added Iraqi troops reopened the main road between Salahuddin Province and Mosul after IS managed to block the street.
According to security forces, the remaining extremists escaped to the Makhoul mountain range in the northern part of Tikrit.
Three Iraqi soldiers were killed during clashes, and eight others were injured.
Tikrit and other key areas of the Salahuddin Province were retaken from IS by Iraqi security force back in 2014.
Despite the militant group ongoing defeats in Iraq, it remains in control of small areas across the country and persists as a threat to civilians.
An IS-planted roadside bomb on Saturday killed four refugees and wounded eight in northern Iraq, police lieutenant Noaman al-Jabouri said.
The civilians were fleeing the Hawija district in the west of Kirkuk when the device detonated, Jabouri revealed.
“[IS] has planted roadside devices in roads frequented by displaced civilians,” the police officer explained.
Kirkuk officials have repeatedly called on the Federal Government of Iraq to accelerate plans to liberate the IS-held neighboring city of Hawija, maintaining it poses a serious security threat on Kirkuk.
After a nine-month long campaign against IS in Mosul, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the group early last month.
Iraqi security forces have turned their attention to liberating Tal Afar next, located 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Mosul.
In Syria, a US-backed Kurdish-led alliance has liberated over 50 percent of territory from the militant group in Raqqa, their de facto capital in the country.
Editing by G.H. Renaud