BAQUBA, Iraq, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Three civilians and two Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in clashes between the IS and the security forces in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, the Iraqi military and a local official said on Thursday.
IS militants carried out an attack late on Wednesday on the village of Um al-Hunttah near the town of Jalawlaa, 135 km northeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, sparking heavy clashes with the security forces, Lieutenant General Mezhir al-Azzawi, Commander of Dijlah Operations Command, said in a brief statement.
"The situation is under control of the security forces after the clashes in the village," said Azzawi, whose forces are responsible for the security in Diyala and other areas in eastern Iraq.
Walhan al-Gerwi, a member of Jalawlaa town's council, told Xinhua that "three civilians were killed and four others wounded by the clashes that erupted between IS militants and the security forces backed by armed villagers."
On Thursday morning, a joint force from the Iraqi army and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi fighters killed two IS militants and wounded four others during an operation outside the village of Um al-Hunttah, according to a statement issued by the Hashd Shaabi.
During the past few months, dozens of IS militants fled their former bases in Diyala, Salahudin and Hawijah area in west of Kirkuk, after the Iraqi forces carried out major anti-IS offensives to drive out the extremist militants from these areas.
On Dec. 9, 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.
However, small groups and individuals of IS militants melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas looking for safe havens. They are still capable of carrying out attacks from time to time against the security forces and civilians.