BAGHDAD, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Three Islamic State (IS) militants were shot dead Friday after they killed a civilian in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, a local police source told Xinhua.
The IS militants killed a civilian in the evening at a village in Hawijah area located in southwestern Kirkuk, the source said on condition of anonymity.
An Army force and paramilitary tribal fighters of a local Hashd Shaabi unit chased the three attackers and shot them dead after surrounding them in orchards on the bank of the nearby river of Zab, the source said.
Earlier in the day, another security source told Xinhua that IS militants slaughtered a woman and her two sons with knives, and critically wounded a man, before they fled to orchards of Zab river.
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 Iraqi forces cleared these areas during major anti-IS offensives.
IS remnants, however, resorted to hideouts near the rivers of Tigris and Zab, as well as Himreen mountainous areas to continue their 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 the IS after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas once seized by the extremist group. But residual IS militants are still capable of carrying out attacks from time to time.