BAGHDAD, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Five Islamic State (IS) militants were killed Thursday in operation by Iraqi security forces in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, a security source said.
A joint force from the Iraqi army and police commandos carried out a preemptive operation at a mountainous area in southwest of Nineveh's provincial capital Mosul, which itself is located some 400 km north of Baghdad, and destroyed eight tunnels, Saad Maan, spokesman of interior ministry, said in a statement.
The attack killed four IS militants at one tunnel, while the fifth blew up himself after the troops surrounded him, Maan 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, small groups and individuals of extremist militants melted or regrouped in urban and rugged areas, and are carrying out attacks against the security forces and civilians despite operations from time to time to hunt them down.