BAGHDAD, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Two paramilitary Sunni tribal fighters were killed and five others wounded Wednesday in a suicide bomb attack in Hawijah area in Iraq's Kirkuk province, a police source said.
The attack took place in the evening when a group of Hawijah tribal fighters carried out a search campaign looking for remnants of Islamic State (IS) militants in houses at the edge of Abbasi area west of the town of Hawijah, which located some 230 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the source said on condition of anonymity.
The tribal fighters first were attacked by small arms fire before a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest near a group of the fighters, the source said.
The gunfire and the blast killed two tribal fighters and wounded five others, including the leader of the paramilitary group, the source added.
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.