5 IS militants killed in central Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-30 01:56:29|Editor: yan
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BAGHDAD, March 29 (Xinhua) -- A total of five Islamic State (IS) militants, including a group leader, were killed in an operation by the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units in Iraq's central province of Salahudin on Friday.

The operation was carried out "at dawn against an IS position on the edges of al-Mu'tasim area, some 60 km south of the provincial capital Tikrit," said a statement by Saraya al-Salam, a militia affiliated with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and part of Hashd Shaabi.

The killed IS leader, identified as Mohammed Mukhtar, is responsible for coordinating IS activities in Salahudin and northern Baghdad, the statement added.

According to the statement, the other four killed IS militants were Mukhtar's associates, and three members of Saraya al-Salam were wounded in the operation.

Mukhtar was behind many terrorist attacks against civilians, government officials and security forces in the area, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the international coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike on an IS position in the desert of Iraq's western province of Anbar, killing all militants inside, according to a statement by the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command.

In December 2017, Iraq declared full liberation from the IS after the security forces and the 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.