BAGHDAD, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Twelve Islamic State (IS) militants were killed Thursday when Iraqi security forces launched an operation in the Himreen mountain range that stretches in Iraq's central provinces of Salahudin and Diyala.
The operation was carried out during the day by the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), as the troops started clearing a number of villages while conducting an airdrop operation on the nearby mountains, the CTS said in a statement.
The troops killed 12 IS militants and destroyed a headquarters and a hideout used by the group to publish their al-Naba newspaper, in addition to destroying 11 other IS hideouts and seizing caches of weapons and ammunition, the statement said.
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 retreated to operate in desert and rugged areas, carrying out guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.