BAGHDAD, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Islamic State (IS) militants Friday killed three family members in their house in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, a local security source told Xinhua.
The attack took place before noon when IS militants broke into the family house at al-Sa'diyah village in the west of the once IS stronghold in Hawijah area, the source said on condition of anonymity.
The attackers slaughtered a woman and two of her sons with knives, and critically wounded a man, before they fled the scene to orchards on the bank of the nearby river of Zab, the source said.
During the past few months, dozens of IS militants fled their former bases in Salahudin province and Hawijah area in the west of Kirkuk after the Iraqi forces cleared these areas during major anti-IS offensives.
However, remnants of IS militants resorted to hideouts near the rivers of Tigris and Zab, as well as Himreen mountainous areas to continue their almost daily attacks against civilians and Iraqi forces in nearby towns and villages.
On Dec. 9, 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the extremist group. Nevertheless, small groups and individuals of IS militants are still capable of carrying out attacks from time to time.