BAGHDAD, June 4 (Xinhua) -- At least two paramilitary Hashd Shaabi members were killed and four others wounded on Monday in clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's central province of Salahudin.
Dhul-Faqqar al-Baldawi, head of Salahudin provincial media office of Hashd Shaabi, told Xinhua that a Hashd Shaabi brigade launched an operation in Farhatiyah area near the town of Balad, some 80 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, after receiving intelligence reports that some 40 IS militants infiltrated in the area.
As the troops arrived the scene, fierce clashes erupted between the two sides for three hours and ended after the sunset, Baldawi said.
He confirmed that the extremist militants sustained some casualties, but they evacuated the killed and wounded militants and disappeared in the rugged vast area in the western part of the province.
On Saturday, unknown gunmen broke into a house of a family and shot dead 12 members in Farhatiyah area before they fled the scene.
Only a six-month infant survived the attack, despite receiving a bullet in his body.
Key cities of Salahudin province, including the provincial capital Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, were captured by IS militants in June 2014, but the Iraqi security forces freed the province during major anti-IS offensives.