8 IS militants killed in 2 attacks on Kurdish forces in Iraq's Kirkuk

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-10 01:30:48|Editor: yan
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KIRKUK, Iraq, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- A total of eight Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Monday in two attacks targeting the Kurdish security forces, known as Peshmerga, in west of the ethnically-mixed city of Kirkuk, a Kurdish security source said.

In one attack, seven IS militants attacked before noon the Peshmerga forces near a village in west of Kirkuk, a Kurdish officer Kamal Kirkuki told Xinhua.

The attack sparked a clash between the two sides, while two IS militants detonated their explosive vests, Kirkuki said.

The Peshmerga fighters shot dead three of the attackers and captured the other two, Kirkuki said.

Early in the morning, four IS militants, raising white flag to disguise as displaced people, approached a Peshmerga post in west of Kirkuk and opened fire on the Kurdish fighters, killing one of them, but the troops fire back and killed three of the attackers and captured the fourth, Kirkuki said.

The incidents came as the Iraqi security forces are carrying out an offensive to dislodge the extremist IS militants from the city of Hawijah and surrounding areas in west of Kirkuk.

The Iraqi forces freed most of Hawijah Pocket, but the battles forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes to Kirkuk, as well as many IS militants and their families to surrender to the Peshmerga forces.

The operation to free Hawijah came as tensions are running high between Baghdad government and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan after the Kurdish region held a controversial referendum on independence of Kurdistan and disputed areas, including Kirkuk.