BAGHDAD, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Eight paramilitary Hashd Shaabi members were killed, including a group leader, and seven wounded Thursday in bomb attack in Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, a provincial security source said.
"A Hashd Shaabi convoy was struck by two roadside bombs around noon, while heading to conduct a search campaign in al-Jazira area near the city of Samarra, some 120 km north the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing eight Hashd Shaabi members and wounding seven others," Captain Hussam al-Jubouri from Samara's Operations Command told Xinhua.
The killed and wounded militiamen are affiliated to Saraya al-Salam paramilitary force, or Peace Companies, which is part of the government-backed Hashd Shaabi brigades, al-Jubouri said.
The group leader Hussein Attia was one of the killed by the double bomb attack, al-Jubouri added.
Saraya al-Salam is a militia linked to the Iraqi Shiite community and is a revival of the previously known as "Mahdi Army" militia affiliated with the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Sadr sent the Saraya al-Salam militiamen to protect the holy Shiite shrine in Samarra when the Islamic State (IS) militants seized large swathes in northern and western Iraq in 2014.
In December 2017, Iraq declared full liberation from the IS after the security forces and the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units, backed by the anti-IS international coalition, recaptured all areas once seized by the extremist group.
However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out guerilla attacks from time to time against the security forces and civilians.