BAGHDAD, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Up to 300 Islamic State (IS) militants and their family members are sheltering in a mountain in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, a local newspaper reported Wednesday.
The 300 are sheltering "in Qara-Chokh Mountain near the town of Makhmour, about 60 km southeast of Nineveh's provincial capital Mosul," the independent al-Mashriq newspaper quoted Ghayath al-Sorachi, a leading figure in the Kurdish party Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), as saying.
"Their presence in the mountain is a threat to the security situation in surrounding areas," al-Sorachi added.
He warned of security breaches from the mountain because no clear operation or airstrikes have been conducted yet by the security forces and U.S.-led coalition.
The security situation in Iraq has dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.
IS remnants, however, 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 security forces and civilians.