BAGHDAD, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Two policemen were killed and another wounded Monday in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, while an Islamic State (IS) leader was killed in Salahudin province in central Iraq, security sources said.
A policeman was killed and another injured when a group of IS militants attacked a police checkpoint near the town of Abu Sayda, some 25 km northeast of Diyala's provincial capital Baquba, said Alaa al-Saadi, from Diyala's Operations Command, told Xinhua.
In a separate incident, an IS sniper shot dead a policeman while manning a security checkpoint in Imam Wies area, some 55 km northeast of Baquba, al-Saadi said.
Following the attack, a security force carried out a search operation in neighboring areas looking for the attacker, he added.
In Salahudin province, a police commando force acted on intelligence reports and ambushed a local IS leader named Saad Mahmoud Mahdi, also known as Abu Waqqas.
Abu Waqqas is responsible for IS activities in southern Salahudin province and parts of the adjacent Diyala province, the source said.
The security situation in Iraq has been dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.
However, groups and individuals of extremist militants melted or regrouped in urban and rugged areas, carrying out attacks against the security forces and civilians despite military operations from time to time to hunt them down.