BAGHDAD, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Nine Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in an airstrike by Iraqi airforce and international coalition aircraft in Iraq's northern province of Kirkuk, the Iraqi military said.
"Acting on intelligence reports, the Iraqi and coalition airforce bombarded an IS hideout in Wadi Abu Khanajir area in south of the provincial capital Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad," according to a statement by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC).
The Iraqi forces searched the destroyed hideout and found nine IS militants killed inside, along with 20 cellphones connected to explosives, the statement added.
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.
The 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.