TIKRIT, Iraq, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Four people were killed and eight others injured Thursday in two attacks by Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's central province of Salahudin, a provincial security source said.
In one attack, IS militants attacked security outpost at the edge of Sdeira al-Suflah, a village in east of the town of Shirqat, some 280 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, sparking heavy clashes with local security forces, Colonel Mohammed al-Jubouri, head of the media office of Salahudin's provincial police, told Xinhua.
Many of the villagers took up their arms to support the security forces in their pursuit of the IS attackers. But four villagers were killed and four others were wounded in the explosions of several roadside bombs detonated by IS militants, Jubouri said.
The IS militants apparently used a different tactic in their attack, as they carried out the attack and then withdrew quickly to attract the villagers and the security forces into the trap of the roadside bombs, Jubouri said.
The attacks came despite repeated operations by Iraqi security forces to clear the areas around Shirqat of the remnants of IS militants.
Another attack occurred after midnight when IS militants attacked a police base in a desert area in the eastern part of Salahudin province, sparking heavy clashes with the police. Iraqi army sent helicopter gunships to intervene in the clashes, forcing the attackers to retreat, Jubouri said.
The clashes resulted in the wounding of four policemen, Jubouri said, without giving further details about the casualties of the attackers.
During the past few months, dozens of IS militants fled their former urban strongholds in Mosul, Salahudin province and Hawijah area in the west of Kirkuk after the Iraqi forces cleared these areas through major anti-IS offensives.
However, many IS remnants have resorted to hideouts in the rugged areas near the rivers of Tigris and Zab, as well as Himreen mountainous areas to continue their almost daily attacks against civilians and Iraqi forces.
On Dec. 9, 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants. But small groups of IS militants regrouped in the rugged areas and have been carrying out attacks against the security forces and civilians despite the repeated Iraqi military operations to hunt them down.