BAQUBA, Iraq, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces on Saturday killed six suicide bombers during an operation to hunt down Islamic State (IS) militants near the Iraqi-Iranian border in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, the Iraqi military said.
The Iraqi army, police and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi brigades, covered by helicopter gunships launched an operation to chase IS militants and advanced in three directions in the area between Naft Khana and the city of Khanaqin near the Iranian border, Lt. Gen. Mezhir al-Azzawi told Xinhua.
The troops killed six suicide bombers wearing explosive belts and are surrounding four others during the operation, while the troops destroyed three hideouts of IS militants in the oil-rich area of Naft Khana, which itself located some 155 km northeast of Baghdad, said Azzawi whose the forces under his command is responsible for the security in Diyala and other areas in eastern Iraq.
IS militants still control areas in Himreen mountainous area, including its lake, in northern and eastern parts of Diyala.
The terror group also has a major redoubt in Mteibijah area on the provincial border with Salahudin Province, which extends to the sprawling rugged area from the western part of Salahudin to the desert in the neighboring Anbar Province in western Iraq.
On Aug. 31, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared full liberation of the city of Tal Afar and surrounding areas from the extremist IS militants.
The Iraqi forces are now preparing to wage another offensive in the IS-held town of Hawijah and surrounding areas in the west of the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.