BAGHDAD, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- A policeman and three Islamic State (IS) militants were killed Saturday in clashes between Iraqi security forces and the extremist militants in Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, a provincial security source said.
The incident took place around midnight when IS militants attacked police outposts near the al-Namil village in south of the town of Shirqat, some 280 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing a policeman and wounding another, Col. Mohammed al-Bazi from Salahuddin provincial police command told Xinhua.
The extremist militants managed to seize some of the police outposts, but reinforcement police force and local paramilitary tribal fighters at dawn carried out a counter attack and drove out the IS militants from the outposts after killing three of them, he said.
The attackers launched their attack from the nearby mountain of al-Khanouga and returned to their hideouts in the mountain, which has been a safe haven and a launching pad for their attacks that targeted the security forces and civilians, he added.
The security situation in Iraq has been dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces declared they had fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.
However, the extremist militants have since regrouped in urban, desert and rugged areas, carrying out guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians despite recurrent operations to hunt them down.