BAGHDAD, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces battling Islamic State (IS) militants in north of Euphrates River near the border with Syria killed a total of 48 IS militants during the past three days, the Iraqi military said Wednesday.
The troops fought sporadic clashes with IS militants during their clearing operations in the rural area north of the river and recaptured 13 villages, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, Commander of the Liberation of West Anbar Operations, said in a brief statement.
Yarallah said the troops would continue their advance to free the IS-held city of Rawa, about 80 km east of al-Qaim city, the statement said.
On November 5, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi raised the Iraqi flag on Husaibah border crossing with Syria two days after the Iraqi forces recaptured it and the nearby city of al-Qaim from the extremist militants.
The troops killed a total of 48 extremist militants, including three suicide bombers, and destroyed six booby-trapped vehicles and 10 other vehicles.
The troops also defused and detonated more than 100 roadside bombs planted by earlier by IS to hamper the progress of the security forces, the statement added.
On Oct. 26, the security forces started a major offensive to free the last urban IS stronghold in Iraq near the Iraqi-Syrian border.
The IS militants seized large swathes of territory in Iraq in 2014. After three years of battles, the Iraqi forces have retaken most of the occupied areas from the terrorist group, including the country's second largest city Mosul.